Para-cycling Worlds: Storey leads British gold medal haul

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in the Netherlands
Dame Sarah Storey leads British gold-medal haul

Dame Sarah Storey claimed a surprise 500m time-trial victory on a stunning opening day for the British team at the para-cycling World Championships.

Storey, 37, had been focusing on distance training ahead of her failed bid to break the world hour-record.

But her impressive time of 37.874 was three tenths of a second quicker than team-mate Crystal Lane, who claimed C5 silver ahead of China's Zhou Jufang.

There were also golds for Jody Cundy, Sophie Thornhill and Neil Fachie.

Storey will return to action at the weekend as she aims to defend her titles in the 3km pursuit and scratch race.

"This [500m] was just a hit-out really so I'm a bit shocked and surprised at the time as I didn't even think I would be on the podium," Storey told BBC Sport.

Cundy's result was particularly impressive given the two-time Paralympic cycling champion was hospitalised in November with an infected epiglottis, which seriously impacted his ability to breath.

"Today did take a lot more out of me than usual, but after what happened I'm really pleased that I could get the medal," he said.

Visually impaired Paralympic champion Fachie and pilot Peter Mitchell found themselves off the pace after the first lap of their 1km time-trail.

However the duo hauled themselves back into contention at the midway point and secured gold in a time of one minute 1.787 seconds.

"We really had to perform today and we're delighted with the time," Scotland's Fachie told BBC Sport.

Thornhill successfully defended her 1km visually impaired world title alongside pilot Helen Scott, with whom she claimed Commonwealth gold last year.

"We've worked so hard for this and it's amazing to see this result after all of the training effort," said Thornhill.

World championship debutant Megan Giglia finished fourth in the C3 500m time-trial, just 0.002 seconds off the bronze medal.

"Coming so close is disappointing, but the whole experience is a massive learning curve and I'll use this as motivation for the 3km race [on Friday]," she told BBC Sport.

Around 160 cyclists from 30 countries have gathered in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, for this year's event.