Emma Pooley has joined a very short list of Great Britain riders to win gold in the time trial following her victory at the UCI road world championships today. Pooley is just the second British rider to win in the discipline, behind Chris Boardman, and the first female victor.
"Yeah, it's fantastic,” said Pooley. “I can't quite believe it. Maybe I will wake up in five minutes and it will be this morning again!
"I think the time trial is a fairly good test,” she added. “I'm really happy. I guess it all went well.”
Pooley was pleased with the decision to ban radios at this year’s event, something riders including Fabian Cancellara have spoken out against. Pooley claimed the event by 15 seconds over Judith Arndt and Linda Villumsen.
“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,” she said. “I prefer not to think about the other competitors, just do the best I can and see what happens at the end."
Pooley was quickest from start to finish over the 22.8 kilometre course. She took a 3.8 second margin over Villumsen by the first check point at 6.6 kilometres and opening it out it by nearly two more seconds at the second check point at 14.7 kilometres. The final third of the course, however, was where Pooley did the damage, putting the hammer down to extend her lead by a further 10 seconds.
Pooley suffered a last minute scare when she was required to make changes to the positioning of her seat and bars. Despite making the late adjustments to meet International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations, Pooley said she wasn’t fazed by the alterations.
"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 and it hasn't been checked and they (the UCI) were very strict,” she explained. “But at the end of the day it's more about the legs than the bike."
Pooley had travelled to Australia in February to scout the time trial course herself, which led to her targeting today’s victory as one of her main season goals. She return to Australia earlier this month, although on the opposite coast in Perth, in order to spend time interval training on her time trial bike as final preparation for the event.