Norwich cyclist Emma Pooley bids for a second World Championships medal in three days today – in her favoured road time trial event, and on a course likely to be much kinder to her than at this summer’s Olympics.

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Pooley was left in tears as the power-heavy flats around Hampton Court rendered her London 2012 medal hopes forlorn – but the 29-year-old former Norwich High School for Girls pupil could make up for that on the 24.3km course at Limburg, and retake the title she won in 2010.

“Emma will be really excited about the nature of this course,” said GB team-mate Wendy Houvenaghel. “She’s a well known good climber and I think she is looking forward to the challenge.”

Pooley won bronze on Sunday in the women’s team-time trial with her AA Drink Leontien.nl outfit.

As for Houvenaghel, she will also represent Britain in Holland today – little more than a month after leaving the London Olympics adistraught.

The 37-year-old from Northern Ireland was not selected for any of the three rides in the women’s team pursuit competition, won by Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King – therefore missing out on a gold medal. She labelled the decision “vindictive”.

Houvenaghel refocused and won the British Championships road time trial earlier this month before a win in the prestigious Chrono Champenois in Betheny, France last week confirmed her selection alongside Pooley.

She was reluctant to discuss the Olympic fall-out and thanked British Cycling’s women’s road coach Chris Newton for supporting her selection.

“I was pleasantly surprised to get the call to represent Great Britain in the time trial at these World Championships,” said Houvenaghel. “I’ve spent most of the year training for a three-minute team pursuit effort and over the last four weeks I’ve just applied myself to time trialling.

“I am optimistic, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. The course is very rolling and there are a couple of quite steep climbs. I am good at climbing; in any of the time trials where there have been hills I’ve done very well. That shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for me. I’ve done my homework and I’m happy I can do reasonably well. The course suits my strengths and I’ll give it everything.”

Pooley has spoken of possibly taking a break from cycling to complete her PhD, while the future for Houvenaghel also remains uncertain. She plans to spend some time with her family after the championships and will assess whether the Rio Olympics in 2016 are an option. It is understood the women’s team pursuit may be increased to a 4km with four riders.

“I’m keeping my options open at the moment,” added Houvenaghel.

1 comment

  • Competition at this level is very severe, and sadly Emma could only manage 4th, so, no podium for her this year.

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    kenneth jessett

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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