|Barney Storey MBE|
Barney Storey is the world's best sprint tandem pilot.
At the London Paralympic Games in 2012, the biggest Paralympic Games in history, Barney and his stoker Neil Fachie came away with a gold medal in the 1 Kilometre Time Trial, winning it in an incredible new world record time of 1:01.351, beating the previous record by almost a second. They also won a silver medal in the thrilling Tandem Sprint competition, losing out only to their GB team mates Anthony Kappes and Craig Maclean. With both tandems on fire at these Games, this exciting battle was a particular favourite of the 6000 spectators.
In 2008 he won double gold at the Beijing Paralympic Games with his stoker Anthony Kappes and in winning the first also lowered the Tandem 1 Kilometre world record to an incredible 1.02.867, half a second quicker than the previous mark. The 2nd gold came in the tandem sprint event where they qualified fastest in the Flying 200m Time Trial and then beat the Australians 2-0 in the final. All this just 3 weeks after a high speed crash in training where the front wheel of the tandem punctured and Barney had to bring the bike under control from a top speed of 70kph. Although avoiding any major injuries, the pair still had to contend with Anthony's fractured right shoulder blade and Barney's shoulder and neck soft tissue damage, as well as the loss of a considerable amount of skin!
In the years building up to the Paralympics in Beijing, Barney won double gold in the same two events, Tandem Sprint and Tandem 1 Kilometre at both the 2006 and 2007 World Championships. All this was backed up with gold medal success at the Paralympic World Cup's, National Tandem Sprint Championships and many solo bike events used to enhance his training for the tandem events.
Barney's success since Beijing has continued to grow, again winning double gold at the Track World Championships on the tandem in 2009 with a new partner Neil Fachie. They lowered the Tandem 1 Kilometre world record to a 1.02.217 and went on to beat a Spanish pairing 2-0 in the final of the tandem sprint event. 2010, 2011 and 2012 also saw Barney taking his 4th, 5th and 6th National titles on the tandem at the National Tandem Sprint Championship. In 2010 and 2012 it was with Neil Fachie whilst in 2011 with Anthony Kappes.
In 2010, Barney also added to his long list of titles on his solo bike, when, as a member of his V C St Raphael Club Team, he won gold in the National Team Pursuit Championships over 4km. Winning gold in emphatic fashion, it was the big turns and speed of Barney that helped the team to victory.
Barney started cycling at the age of 12 as his brother was also racing and it was more fun to take part than stand around watching. In his early years of racing, Barney and his brother were a formidable force in southern counties road racing, with his brother's endurance and Barney's talent for sprinting, they could cover most moves in the peleton and began to dominate the regional scene. As the years progressed it became clear Barney should explore his speed on the track and in 2001 after several months of commuting to Manchester to train with the sprint squad and winning the European Championships in the tandem kilometre, Barney moved to Manchester to further explore his dream of becoming the world's best and ride the tandem full-time.
2002 was a comparably disappointing year with no medals in the World Championships, but with his usual grit and determination, Barney bounced back in 2003 to not only win the National Tandem Sprint Championships but also pick up gold on his solo bike in the Keirin. Internationally was the start of the double gold rush, with Barney winning the tandem sprint and kilometre double for the first time at the European Championships.
Unfortunately 2004 was another disappointing year and despite breaking the Tandem 1 Kilometre world record in training, a problem at the Paralympic Games meant Barney finished outside the medals in Athens. The winning combination with Anthony Kappes was discovered in 2005 and since then the pair haven't looked back. Gold in the tandem sprint in 2005, turned into double gold as the pair added the kilometre in 2006! After a brief spell riding with other people after Beijing, the pair returned to the tandem together for the 2011 Track Worlds where they also added the Tandem Pursuit event to their race schedule to assist with the qualification points scoring for London. Despite the stresses of also training for the endurance event, which dampened their top end speed somewhat, the pair won a credible two silver medals just 0.001 of a second outside of winning gold. Considering their adapted training schedule for the extra event, it was a huge success and the pair rode quicker in all events than they had done in Beijing.
Outside of formal racing and training, has piloted a number of "celebrity" stokers. In 2010, for Sport Relief, Barney piloted BBC Radio Manchester's, Ian Cheeseman, the pair spent the day riding between all the Football League Grounds in the "Manchester patch", starting in Macclesfield and doing a loop through to Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Manchester United and Manchester City. Since then Barney has also introduced Channel Four's Jon Snow and Iwan Thomas to the track tandem too.