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Sarah Storey scores 17th Paralympic gold with road race triumph
Sarah Storey won an incredible 17th Paralympic gold medal Thursday.
The British racer won a wet and stormy C4-5 road race in Tokyo, defending her title from 2012 and 2016. Storey’s haul of 17 golds makes her the most successful British Paralympian of all time after going one better than previous record holder Mike Kenny.
Britain’s Crystal Lane-Wright finished seven seconds behind to take silver.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed, I feel like it’s happening to someone else,” Storey told British broadcasters after the race. “I can’t really explain or compute anything about the race, but crossing the line first felt so good.”
Storey, 43, has now won three gold medals at the Tokyo Games, continuing her streak of only finishing first in Paralympic cycling events since her debut in 2008. She had previously also won gold medals in Paralympic swimming events, including two in her debut Games in 1992 when she was just 14 years old.
“My mum and dad said to me when I was 12, when I wasn’t winning anything in school … they kept saying to me ‘focus on you Sarah, just focus on your best,'” an emotional Storey said. “And that’s what I keep doing.”
Mikel Landa abandons Vuelta a España
Mikel Landa has quit the Vuelta a España. The Basque climber climbed off midway through Wednesday’s mountain stage after a last-gasp attack earlier in the race.
“Today I tried to get the feeling with an attack to go in the break, but I still was not feeling good. I now need to focus on the following goals and get back to my best,” Landa said via his team’s social media last night.
Landa had started the Vuelta as an outside favorite for the red jersey but lost time in the second weekend of racing and was sliding down the GC fast. Meanwhile, his Bahrain-Victorious team had pivoted toward podium contender Jack Haig, who is currently fourth on GC.
After breaking several ribs and a collarbone and his collarbone at this year’s Giro d’Italia, Landa had looked back to his best with a win at the Vuelta a Burgos early August. It seems that the rigors of this yeat’s sun-scorched Vuelta came too soon.
“I have not been feeling at my best over the past week, and since the Giro injury, it has been a long road to recover and be ready for this race. In Burgos, the feeling was good, but a grand tour is a different race,” Landa wrote.
Landa’s abandon makes for a bittersweet day for Bahrain-Victorious, which saw Haig again ride strong in the GC group after strong support from Wout Poels and Damiano Caruso.
“I wish the guys and Jack to keep going strong and fight for the podium in GC,” Landa wrote.
Stage 17 proved a tough day in the saddle. Sander Armée (Qhubeka-NextHash), Luis León Sánchez (Astana PremierTech), Itamar Einhorn (Israel Start-Up Nation) and former red jersey wearer Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) also abandoned Wednesday.