Emma Pooley (Great Britain) missed out on a medal in the women's Olympic Games time trial on Wednesday, finishing in 6th place. Compatriot Lizzie Armitstead had to settle for 10th, just days after wining silver in the road race.
Pooley came into the event as the home nation's best chance of taking a medal after finishing second in Beijing four years ago and then going on to win the world title two years later in 2010. However, on a course not suited to her, Pooley was never able to challenge the medal places. She was fourth fastest at the first time check but dropped to sixth at the 20.4 kilometre mark.
"I just couldn't go any faster. I am disappointed, of course," she said at the finish.
"I have never had so much support and have never heard so much noise on the road. I am not going to blame the course. It was that someone else was quicker. It's not my ideal course, but you do not get to choose the course."
Pooley raced under team orders during the road race, sacrificing her chances for Armitstead. The time trial, however, was her opportunity to win a second Olympic medal of her career. Any talk of pressure being a factor was dismissed by Pooley at the finish.
"A lot hangs on this, for British cycling, on my coach. Everyone has put a lot into it. I suppose I was more disappointed because I had a chance of getting a medal. That's the mistake of being an optimist. Perhaps I should be more pessimistic.
"There is no such thing as a dead cert. Everyone wants to win, obviously. I do find the counting medal things a bit depressing. I think the thing the people come to watch is the story and the competition. The number of medals on a table, I don't give a monkey's about. We did our best and that's what people came to see."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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