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A chat with Sarah Storey Racing rider, Lucy Gadd

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Lucy Gadd is a Storey Racing elite cyclist based in Southampton. She sat down with our regular contributor Tom for a chat about her year, what it’s like riding for Sarah Storey’s team, receiving phone calls from Paris Roubaix winners at Basingstoke train station and letting us know what’s on the plan for the rest of this year and the upcoming offseason. This was a really interesting conversation with a rider who is clearly one to watch for the next few years.

How long have you been with Storey Racing?

“I joined the team in 2019 when I was 17. I got a phone call from Magnus Bäckstedt while I was at Basingstoke train station.”

Lucy joined Sarah Storey’s team, Storey Racing, in 2019 at the age of 17. In her first year with the team, she rode at Lincoln GP, the Junior National Series and National Championships as well as racing in the Women’s World Tour at the Tour de Yorkshire. It’s probably fair to say this was a busy year for a 17/18 year old. In that same year, she also raced at Junior Gent-Wevelgem. This seemed to me to be a hectic first year but Lucy appeared to take it all in her stride!

Sarah Storey (left) and Lucy Gadd (right).

How was your 2020 season? Did you have one at all?

“In 2020 I got into time trials, I’d never done much of it before so the whole year was a learning curve. I was second u23 at national 10, South DC 25m champion and almost beat you!”

Me and Lucy did race, sort of. I managed to take the win by 1s, although I was a touch further down in my category than she was. 2020 threw challenges at all of us and many young athletes essentially lost a year of their development. This wasn’t the case for Lucy though as she made herself a more rounded athlete and worked on a part of racing she wasn’t so familiar with. It may have been a blessing in disguise too as she managed to finish 2nd in the British University’s Championships (BUCS) 25m time trial – Olympic road race champion Anna Kiesenhofer only managed 14th at this race! Lucy has a 10m PB of 20:52 and a 25m PB of 55:33 and is looking to carry her great time trial form into national championships this year and into 2022.

What have you done so far this year?

“So far this year I’ve done BUCS TT, done the Road Race National Series and a number of smaller races and time trials too. I raced the Cicle Classic which was great fun as I got into gravel biking on my new Boardman!”

Lucy has continued her time trial form into 2021 winning a BUCS medal and setting some very fast times. In the next few weeks she’s racing the National Championships in the criterium, on the road and in the time trial.

   Smashing some gravel at Battle in the Bowl.

Tell me something interesting about Storey Racing?

“The team has two Paralympians racing, three if you include the DS, Barney! There’s a total of 34 Paralympic Medals within the team because of Barney, Sarah and Corrine.”

Storey racing used to be a UCI team and is now focussed on developing riders from the U16 ranks through to Elite under the guidance of multiple Paralympic medalists Sarah and Barney Storey. There’s a side team run by Sarah and supported by Skoda, focussed on giving women access to racing. It would probably be a fair comment to suggest that Sarah Storey is a bit of a superwoman – alongside her outstanding Paralympic career, she develops junior riders, improves female access to bike racing, and has two kids aged 3 and 7!

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

“I’d like to race more in Europe, but I’m concerned about the 90-day rule which has been affecting riders. I am also finishing my degree in psychology! I’m very much looking forward to getting out of Southampton as it’s not ideal for training.”

Lucy lives and trains in Southampton at the moment, where she attends university. She’s looking forward to leaving as it’s not the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, and getting back to living somewhere with fast access to good training roads. She attends the University of Southampton.

Lucy Gadd is definitely a name to watch for the future as she develops into an elite senior athlete. With the potential for some good results in the next few years, she’s certainly an athlete that I’ll be keeping my eye on.

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