Britain’s former world champion and Olympic medalist Emma Pooley has joined Swiss team Bigla Cycling for the 2013 season.

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Pooley won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was the 2010 time-trial world champion, while at this summer’s London Olympics she helped Great Britain team-mate Lizzie Armitstead to silver in the road race.

With her former team AA Drink-leontien.nl set to disband at the end of the season due to a lack of financial backing, Norwich’s Olympian had contemplated taking an extended break from the sport to focus to finishing her PhD in geotechnical engineering.

However, the 30-year-old is now relishing the chance to link up with Bigla as well as continuing with her studies over the winter.

She told British Cycling: “I’m looking forward to this new challenge and I’ll do my best to help the young riders on the Bigla team to make the step up.

“I’ve raced against a lot of them in local races in Switzerland and I can see how talented they are. We will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013!

“Next year will be different for me than the last few years, because I’ll be spending the winter studying to finish my PhD... that will mean a slower start to the season. “But Bigla will give me plenty of racing opportunities, some fun new challenges, and also the freedom to focus a bit on my own goals in the time trial.”

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