Norwich cycling star Emma Pooley has admitted she may quit the sport after this month’s World Championships in the Netherlands.

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The 29-year-old former Norwich High School for Girls pupil is due to spend most of her winter finishing a doctorate in geo-technical engineering at her home in Zurich, while current employers – Dutch professional team AA Drink-Leontien.nl – are set to be disbanded once the season ends.

“I might take a year off or I might stop, I haven’t really decided yet,” said Pooley. “I don’t want to race and race really badly, so it depends if I could find a time that would let me work around my PhD commitments, which I probably could.

“But I’m just not sure how I feel about it at the moment. I’m going to wait and see. At the end of the season, after the World Championships, it’ll be a bit clearer in my head and I’ll be able to make a decision.”

Pooley, 2010 world road time trial champion, took silver in the discipline at the Beijing Olympics but missed out on a medal in London.

And Pooley admitted her situation is made trickier with her team’s departure.

“It’s not that easy in the women’s cycling scene because there aren’t enough teams,” Pooley added. “Every year a team or two seems to go under, so every year there are always lots of good riders looking for places. I think I could find a team, I’ve talked to a few.

Talking to BBC Norfolk, Pooley added: “If I was a male cyclist, I wouldn’t have to work after I finish cycling. It’s a bit like football. The wages are much higher, not at all levels, but at the level I’ve got to in women’s cycling the disparity in pay is quite incredible.”

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