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Emma Pooley to the rescue

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Emma Pooley (England) took silver in the Commonwealth Games time trial

Emma Pooley (England) took silver in the Commonwealth Games time trial
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Lizzie Armitstead caught and passed England teammate Emma Pooley to win Commonwealth Games gold.

Lizzie Armitstead caught and passed England teammate Emma Pooley to win Commonwealth Games gold.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Time trial world champion Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) finished sixth in the Giro Donne's stage 10 time trial and second overall.

Time trial world champion Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) finished sixth in the Giro Donne's stage 10 time trial and second overall.
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson)
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The stage podium: Anna van der Breggen, Emma Pooley and Marianne Vos

The stage podium: Anna van der Breggen, Emma Pooley and Marianne Vos
(Image credit: Giro Rosa)
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A softly spoken Emma Pooley (Great Britain) made history with her elite women’s time trial victory – the first British woman to win the title and just the second British rider after Chris Boardman to take gold in the time trial.

A softly spoken Emma Pooley (Great Britain) made history with her elite women’s time trial victory – the first British woman to win the title and just the second British rider after Chris Boardman to take gold in the time trial.
(Image credit: Luca Bettini)
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World time trial Champion, Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) finished second

World time trial Champion, Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) finished second
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson)

It’s fair to say that British Cycling has never endured a period as difficult as this one, with allegations of sexism, discrimination, bullying, illegitimate online auctions of kit and a positive anti-doping test for a leading rider all combining to bring the ship crashing into a series of icebergs. Thankfully, Emma Pooley is here, and she’s brought enough lifejackets for everyone. Well, almost everyone.

We meet in lobby of the Great Britain team hotel on the outskirts of Leeds and when Pooley arrives she has just had her final pre-race meeting ahead of the Women’s Tour of Yorkshire. It’s late, she’s tired and not to mention a little nervous about her return to racing but there’s decaffeinated tea on tap and the chance to air her thoughts fully after selected quotes from a Guardian interview were picked up during last week’s frenzy.

“The biggest improvement though has been around media coverage. There’s no point to racing if no one covers it. Plenty of people race at amateur level but the point to elite sport is that you can be an inspiration to others. If you want a sport to be professional then you need media coverage so the more people that see women’s cycling then the more demand that there is for coverage. That’s what has really pleased me.”

Pooley 2.0 will – should she be selected – see her compete in the road race and the time trial. The time trial will be her main objective, while in the road race she has the quality and experience to ride as either a contender or as a foil for Armitstead’s chances.