Storey targets return after birth

Dame Sarah Storey wants to defend her titles at the Para-Cycling Road World Championships in August – two months after giving birth to her first child.

The 35-year-old’s due date is 23 June, with the 2013 Championships starting on 29 August in Quebec, Canada.

“It’s a possibility. It’s there on the calendar,” the 11-time Paralympic gold medallist told BBC Sport.

“If I can find enough time to train to be in good enough shape to defend my world titles, then obviously I will.”

The British squad for the event is due to be announced after the World Cup event in Spain which takes place from 14-16 June.

The Mancunian, who won C5 Time Trial and Road Race gold in the World Championships in Denmark two years ago, added: “I’ll need to decide three or four weeks before, so we’ll see what sort of shape I’m in.”

Multi-talented Storey

Sarah Storey won five Paralympic golds as a swimmer before switching to cycling. Her 11 gold medals are a joint British record with Tanni Grey-Thompson.

But if Storey and her husband Barney decide the Baie-Comeauis event is too far to take their new baby, the British Track Nationals at the end of September are perhaps a more realistic option for a return to competition.

Either way, though, she is determined to emulate Paula Radcliffe and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who both made speedy returns from childbirth to win big-city marathons.

There is also no shortage of examples from her own sport. American Kristin Armstrong won the women’s time trial at London 2012 two years after becoming a mum for the first time, and Russian rider Olga Zabelinskaya is expecting her third child eight months after winning two bronze medals in London.

Another source of inspiration has been Nyree Kindred, Storey’s former room-mate from her time as a successful Paralympic swimmer. Kindred claimed her 10th Paralympic medal in London a year after having a daughter.

Storey, who has been training for up to three-and-a-half hours a day, knows life is about to get a bit more complicated, but is convinced she can balance the demands of motherhood and qualify for a seventh Paralympics in Rio in 2016.

The Briton, who was born with a partly-formed left hand, is even weighing up a possible return to non-disabled cycling. She competed for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was only dropped from the team pursuit squad eight months before the London Olympics.

“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.”

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