Norwich cyclist Emma Pooley wins World Time Trial Title
Norwich's Emma Pooley has won the Women's World Time Trial Title in Australia, riding a 'beautiful' time trial, in the words of former World Champion Chris Boardman.
Afterwards, the double British road and time trial champion who rides for the Cervelo Test Team, was all smiles as she became the first British woman to win a Senior Elite Women's World Time Trial title. Pooley, who won the Silver medal in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics in this event, kept a high cadence throughout her ride and whilst the hilly course suited her, Pooley also appeared to be very strong on the flat which will hold her in good stead for a possibly flatter course for the 2010 Olympics.
The British rider, who has had a sensational year on the road in Europe, showed just how good her form was as she quickly stamped her authority on the race and was leading after only six kilometres. The GB rider was showing just how much she wanted the title and even having to change her bike setup right before the race started didn't phase her.
By the second time check, the expected challenge from the favourites had failed to materialise and the big surprise at that point in the race was the ride by 51 year old French legend, Jeannie Longo, who was second to Pooley. With still eight riders to finish, Pooley crossed the line, the only rider under 33 minutes and was taken straight to the 'hot seat to replace Longo who moved down a place.
The seeded riders then continued to come in but Pooley's time stood up to the challenges of the World's best and only one rider was getting close, German Judith Ardnt, a co-favourite with Pooley for the title. Ardnt had been disappointing at the early time checks but as the kilometres mounted up, the German started to get closer to Pooley but even she was unable to close the gap on Pooley and after Ardnt crossed the line, Pooley was able to celebrate a great victory, her first in the World Championships.
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Speaking afterwards, Emma said of her gold medal 'It's fantastic, I can't quite believe it. Now I get to wear the world champion's jersey with the stripes for a whole year. Emma had to deal with the stress of having to change the setup on her bike before the race. Asked about that, she replied 'We had some last minute adjustments to make. I have two bikes, one to train on and one to race on, and at the last moment, I was racing on the training bike and maybe I haven't raced on it for a while. It hasn't been checked and they (the UCI) were very strict. But at the end of the day, it's more about the legs than the bike.'
Talking about the time trial effort, Emma explained 'I think the time trial is a fairly good test, I'm really happy. I guess it all went well and I quite like the fact that this year no radios were allowed so no one was getting intermediate time checks which meant all you could do is ride your fastest and the fastest person wins. I prefer not to think about the other competitors, just do the best I can and see what happens at the end.'
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Finally, on whether she can do the double just as she has done in Britain this year, and win both Time Trial and Road Race, Emma was as ever modest and replied 'I'm not sure about Saturday. We have a really strong team and I have lots of teammates. The good thing about our team is we have lots of people that are strong and I think we have a really good chance. Not necessarily me, I think Lizzie (Armitstead), Sharon (Laws), and Nicole (Cooke) are going really well at the moment.'
1. Emma Pooley (Great Britain) 32:48.44
2. Judith Arndt (Germany) @15.17
3. Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) @15.80
4. Amber Neben (United States Of America) @37.66
5. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) @43.94
6. Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America) @1:00.08
7. Tara Whitten (Canada) @1:05.91
8. Shara Gillow (Australia) @1:13.18
9. Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) @1:22.20
10. Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) @1:25.55