British women reflect on disappointing time trial after road race euphoria
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

British women reflect on disappointing time trial after road race euphoria

by Ben Atkins at 5:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Sixth place for Beijing silver Pooley; painful top ten for Sunday heroine Armitstead

emma pooleyGreat Britain’s women were unable to match the success of their male teammates in today’s Olympic time trials, and unable to follow up from their success in Sunday’s road race. Emma Pooley was instrumental in creating the circumstances that made Lizzie Armitstead’s silver medal possible - and was one of the chief spoilers as other teams tried to chase the break - but wasn’t able to repeat her own silver medal from Beijing four years ago.

Pooley could only manage sixth, while Armitstead - who is less of a time triallist than her teammate - finished tenth in her debut Olympic time trial.

"You always have to push your hardest and I did,” said Pooley afterwards. “I don't think I could have gone any faster. In time trial you can't affect anyone else. I'm really disappointed but if someone else is faster than you, you can't do anything.”

As one of the top climbers in the sport, Pooley would have preferred the course to have featured more hill; as the World championship course did in Geelong, Australia, in 2010, where she took the rainbow jersey. Four years ago in Beijing the London-born rider had actually been quicker than Kristin Armstrong at the top of the course’s big climb, but her then nervous descending saw the American overtake her on the way down.

Although it was constantly rolling, there were no recognised climbs on the Hampton Court course and, although Pooley was fourth at the first checkpoint, she slipped to sixth by the second and was unable to recover.

"I was really pleased to help Lizzie in the road race,” she reflected. “I just wish we could have gone up Box Hill in the time trial.”

Armitstead’s silver on Sunday was host nation’s first medal of the Games, and the 23-year-old received the loudest cheer of the event as she took the start. The support continued all the way around the 29km course, but the Yorkshirewoman found it difficult to enjoy the race.

“It didn't feel like a lap of honour,” she said. “The whole thing was just painful. It is something I need to improve on if I want to compete in it. I'm disappointed for Emma after all the work she put in and helped me in the road race."


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