Michael Bailey , London Olympics correspondent
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Norwich cyclist Emma Pooley will get the chance to emulate her Beijing achievements on home soil after her place at this summer’s Games was officially confirmed on Thursday.
The 29-year-old 2010 world time-trial champion and 2008 Olympic time-trial silver medalist was, as expected, included in Team GB’s women’s road race squad ratified by the British Olympic Association and selected by British Cycling.
It means Pooley alongside Lizzie Armitstead, Lucy Martin and Beijing Olympic champion Nicole Cooke will compete in the road race event on July 29, while Pooley and Armitstead will compete in the time-trial on August 1.
“I’m really pleased to be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games, it’s a great honour,” said Pooley. “I’m looking forward to concentrating on my training now to ensure that I am in the best shape possible for the two events.”
Pooley was named in a shortlist of six riders last week, ahead of Thursday’s final announcement. The men’s final squad – currently an eight-strong shortlist to be knocked down to five – is yet to be confirmed.
On top of Pooley’s time-trial success, the Norwich rider played a key role in helping Cooke to her Olympic gold.
“Narrowing down the women’s road team from six riders to four wasn’t an easy decision for the selectors to make, but we believe that the four riders we have selected will give us the best opportunity of winning the race,” said British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford. “The team is made up of the defending Olympic road race champion and Olympic time-trial silver medallist.”
Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt added: “Nicole Cooke’s inspirational victory on that rainy day in Beijing at the last Olympics was one of the outstanding moments of the Games and served as an important catalyst to kick-start Team GB’s record breaking medal haul.
“With the support of many thousands of Team GB fans lining the route on July 29, I am sure this group of riders will be aiming to deliver another memorable performance.”