Norwich’s Pooley plays key role in Commonwealth Games

Emma Pooley overcame a dose of Delhi Belly to play a vital supporting role to silver medal winning team-mate Lizzie Armistead yesterday.

This time she supported the youthful Armistead, who just didn't have the finish line firepower to overtake Australia's Rochelle Gilmore in the closing metres of the Commonwealth Games road race.

'I'm really proud of Lizzie, she's done a great job. She's so young and she's fantastic,' said Pooley.

'I'm just happy I could ride as I was sick all day yesterday. I think Lizzie would have won it but she hit her foot on a barrier and thinks she might have broken her toe.

'To come second with that is pretty damn impressive.'

Pooley, who ended Cooke's nine-year domination by winning the national road race title earlier this year, was always going to struggle on a pan-flat course.

And her chances aren't much better in Wednesday's time trial, in which she claimed the world title earlier this month, with organisers again selecting a circuit without a single hill.

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'It wasn't my kind of race. There were times when I felt I wouldn't be able to get going, but I wanted to help my team-mates out. They help me in other races so it's important to give something back,' she added.

'I'm just not a sprinter. It might have been possible to get away alone but it was always going to be tough. Some of the Kiwis were trying, but they always got pulled back.

'There weren't many riders in the race but there were a few strong teams. The Canadians, Kiwis, Australians, the Welsh and us. Everyone's capable of working and most of the teams just wanted to sprint.'

Meanwhile, organisers of these troubled Games committed another howler by making security on the course so tight that spectators were kept away.

It meant the peloton sailed quietly around the centre of the city with no support to lift them.

In addition, promises to give riders time on the circuit before the race failed to materialise, meaning the last few days have been spent going nowhere on rollers, rather than getting some vital last minute time on the road.

'It would have been nice to get some time out there beforehand but it was the same for everyone,' said Pooley

'It's a real shame more people weren't here and it seems a bit of a lost opportunity.'

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