British rider Emma Pooley took silver in the road time trial at last year's Beijing Olympics; 2009 has been even better for the Cervélo rider and she's hoping that can continue at this week's world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The diminuitive rider is now anticipating the world championship time trial against the cream of international women's talent, including her vainqueur in China, Kristin Armstrong. It's the American's swansong to professional cycling and she'll undoubtedly be motivated to finish on a high.
"I'm looking forward to the time trial because everyone says it won't suit me," Pooley told The Guardian. "I don't like the implication that I only got a medal in Beijing because it was a certain kind of course and I want the chance to prove myself on a flatter course."
The challenge posed by Armstrong and a circuit it's claimed doesn't suit don't faze Pooley, however, whose rise through the pro ranks in the past two seasons has been impressive. There weren't many observers who would have expected her success at the beginning of 2009, including the rider herself.
"It has surprised me, I thought that when you are in a strong team you don't always get the chance to race for yourself. But it's been fantastic. I've progressed, but it's not all to do with being full-time, although that helps your recovery," she explained.
As has been the case with their male counterparts in Cervélo TestTeam's inaugural season, the women in black have been dominant in 2009, taking more than their expected share of victories, with Pooley's haul an integral part of the squad's scorecard. According to Pooley, it's a win-win situation.
"You need people to learn off and my Cervélo team-mates are much more experienced than me. I've learned so much from them. Physically I've felt stronger than last year and technically I've moved forward as well, I've been in the right place in the races. I've had good and bad patches with crashing but I've been really pleased," she said.