British rider hangs up her wheels
Emma Pooley has announced that she will retire after Sunday’s Commonwealth Games road race. The 31-year-old British rider and former World Champion made the announcement on rouleur.cc.
“You have to go sometime,” she told the publication.
“I considered retiring after the London Olympics, but I didn’t feel like I was ready. I’ve been mulling it over, and came to the conclusion that the Commonwealth Games is the perfect opportunity – it’s a big event, it’s almost at home, and I want to go out properly, when I’ve planned it and have no regrets.
“I’m very lucky in that I can make that decision. For a lot of people, the choice is made for them, either by injury or team dynamics. It’s a positive choice. After the first Giro stage win, there was a little bit of me that thought about carrying on until Rio 2016, but the decision was made. Maybe I had a good Giro because the weight was off my shoulders, maybe it was the last chance saloon.”
Pooley rode for Lotto Belisol Ladies in 2014 after a break from racing last season. She came back to win the national time trial championships last month and claimed three stages and the mountain jersey in the Giro Rosa, earlier this month. During her career she earned a silver medal in the time trial at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, won the world championship time trial in 2010 and the British title three times, but struggled to pick out her favorite result.
“Looking back, there are so many highlights,” Pooley told Rouleur. “I’ve been so lucky to have this opportunity. It sounds silly, but winning races is awesome, and it makes you feel so good, whether it’s for yourself or helping a teammate win. Some of my best memories are helping Claudia Lichtenberg win the Giro and Tour de l’Aude, or helping Kirsten Wild win at the Tour de Montréal. When we won the Vårgårda TTT World Cup, it was such a feeling of achievement.”
Pooley is planning on turning her attention to middle distance triathlon and mountain running. Her last race as a professional road rider will come on Sunday in the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Bob Howden, the president of British Cycling stated that, "Emma has been a tremendous ambassador for cycling both on and off the bike and for women's sport in general, never far from the action wherever she applied her undoubted talents."
"At British Cycling she will be long remembered as a rider who gave her all for her team and she retires with the thanks and best wishes of British Cycling and our members."
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