By Gary Anderson

December 1 - Dame Sarah Storey returned to action in Newport and claimed an impressive win © Getty Images Dame Sarah Storey marked her return to competitive action with an impressive performance at the Newport International Para-Cycling Cup claiming victory over her great rival Jennifer Schuble of America in the three kilometre pursuit.

The 11-time Paralympic champion was making her comeback after six months out of the competitive saddle following the birth of her daughter in June and looked in imperious form once again.

Dame Sarah reeled in Beijing 2008 gold medallist Schuble with a kilometre to go and powered through the final few laps to take the win in a time of 3min 45:06sec.

While that time was over 13 seconds outside of the world record she set at London 2012, the 36-year-old was pleased to get her first race out of the way and admitted that her fitness levels are still a work in progress.

"It was good to be back racing," she said.

"The time isn't so bad but I definitely need to get fitter - it hurt at the end.

"I thought I would catch Jennifer but I found it tough to get by her because I didn't have as many reserves as I would normally have, but it is a good starting point and now I can build on it.

"That time would still have won me gold in London so I'm pleased to be still on top of the rankings."

Beijing 2008 gold medal winner Jody Cundy also impressed in Newport with a scintillating ride in the C4 kilo event which saw him clock a time of 1:04.996.

That would have beaten Cundy's previous record of 1:05.144 but for the lack official anti-doping officials at the event.

But the London 2012 bronze medallist was not too disappointed and revealed that he was also returning to the track after time off.

Jody Cundy took gold in Newport but was denied a new world record due to a lack of anti-doping officials at the event © AFP/Getty Images Jody Cundy took gold in Newport but was denied a new world record due to a lack of anti-doping officials at the event ©AFP/Getty Images

"It is the first time I have ridden against the guys who competed and medalled in London so it was nice to win," he said.

"I did a good time at the nationals six weeks ago, but since then I moved house and have been on a bit of a break and not doing as much training or been as focused as I should be - but it seems to have paid off so maybe long competition tapers are the way to go."

Meanwhile, the tandem pairings of Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean and Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James made it two golds apiece with victory in the sprint events in Newport.

Both pairs had won the tandem kilos titles and Fachie, who took gold and silver in London last year said the competition in Wales was a useful run-out as preparations continue for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

"We came here hoping to compete for gold," he said.

"We are still gelling together and it is good to get racing experience because we don't get too many chances.

"We will get back to training now - we still have a lot of work to do ahead of the Commonwealth Games."

Thornhill and James finished ahead of teammates Aileen McGlynn and Fiona Duncan in the kilos race in a time of 1:09:446, just outside the world mark of 1:08.714.

"That was so hard but I'm really happy with the time," said Thornhill.

"That was world record pace until about half a lap to go so we were a bit disappointed not to get that.

"We're still really, really happy with the time."

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