Congratulations to Dame Sarah Storey on the birth of her baby

Massive congratulations go out to Dame Sarah Storey and her husband Barney, on the birth of their first child - a daughter named Louisa Marie Storey.

Dame Sarah Storey is Britain's most decorated female Paralympic athlete, with 22 Paralympic medals (11 of then gold) across swimming and cycling.  At London 2012,  she won a stunning 4 Gold Medals in 4 different events, and set a new World Record in the C5 Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit.

Barney also broke a world record to win gold in the B1km time trial — riding as sighted pilot to visually impaired Neil Fachie.  Before becoming a tandem pilot for visually impaired cyclists, Barney Storey completed in World Cup events and was an elite road racer.

During the past 6 months, since announcing her pregnancy, Dame Sarah Storey has given numerous interviews about the affect pregnancy and impending motherhood have had on her cycling. Given that cycling during pregnancy is an area that has been virtually ignored in both the cycling and mainstream press, Dame Sarah has been a massive inspiration to the growing number of women who cycle, especially those who are expecting, or planning, a baby.  

Dame Sarah Storey isn't planning a long maternity leave!

Whilst she was still heavily pregnant, Dame Sarah Storey was named as part of the Great Britain Para-Cycling team for the Road World Championships, which take place in Quebec, Canada from August 29th (yes - 2013!).  Storey will have to pass a performance test before the final team is announced on August 7th, so she has little over a month to fully recover from her pregnancy and birth if she wants to defend her World Championship titles 

When her position in the team was announced, she tweeted out

In recent weeks Dame Sarah has also said that she hopes the sound of the turbo trainer will help to lull her baby daughter to sleep, so she can continue training.

In an interview with the BBC however, Dame Sarah has talked realistically about the challenges she faces over the coming weeks and months:

"The longer you have out, the harder it is to get back," she said. "Obviously, the baby comes first, and the sleeping and eating routine is going to be the priority. In 2007 I missed the Worlds on the road because I broke my collarbone in training, so this is a better excuse.

But I will definitely get back to track cycling over the winter so I'm prepared for the next racing season on the road, and then we'll have a look at whether I go back into the team pursuit or not. The options are there and there's no pressure. Qualification for Rio doesn't start for 18 months so I've got plenty of time to get back into shape."

If you're inspired by Dame Sarah Storey to cycle when pregnant, visit our pages on cycling during pregnancy and after birth

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