Norwich cycling ace Emma Pooley set for a new career path

Olympic medalist and former world champion Emma Pooley at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: Ian Burt Olympic medalist and former world champion Emma Pooley at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: Ian Burt

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
8:30 AM

Emma Pooley has quit cycling – but that decision will not signal the end of the road for her sporting career.

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The 31-year-old yesterday announced she will retire from competing on two wheels with immediate effect after Sunday’s road race at the Commonwealth Games. But the Norwich inspiration has quickly vowed not to put the brakes on her quest for glory just yet.

The 2008 Olympic silver medallist and current British time-trial champion will now focus on endurance-based triathlon and running events once she has crossed the line in Scotland.

Pooley, who won last year’s Lausanne Marathon, said: “Running can be almost meditative when it’s going well, whether you’re racing someone or not. I’m super lucky to have been a pro cyclist, but there are other things I dream of doing as well. I’m 31, which is a good age for endurance sports, and I’m sure I can do better in triathlon if I focus on it. I’m so excited about running through mountains.”

The Lotto Belisol Ladies’ rider – a member of the VC Norwich club – will compete her swansong as part of the Team England outfit that will be hoping to propel Lizzie Armitstead to Games’ gold.

“I started cycling because I thought I might win the odd local race, but I didn’t take it up to be on TV or to be an inspiration,” the race ace also told cycling magazine Rouleur.

“Then I started getting letters from people whose daughters ride bikes or who started cycling. It’s only a small thing, compared to the reach the men have, but that is the point of elite sport: for people to see it and be entertained, or inspired, or start cycling, even if it is just riding around the block.”

British Cycling president Bob Howden said Pooley had been a “tremendous ambassador” for the sport and insisted “she will be long remembered as a rider who gave her all for her team”.

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