After her superb performance in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday, Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) looks set to start the women’s Tour of Flanders this coming weekend despite her dislike for the cobbles and hectic sprint finishes.
The British rider was not originally pencilled in for the race but after attacking the bunch after 52 kilometres of racing on Sunday and surviving the remaining 69 kilometres on her own, she’s set to show off her World Cup jersey in Belgium.
“I didn’t expect it to be a successful move at all, to be honest,” Pooley told Cyclingnews.
“As a team we were trying to make it hard and there were lots of attacks. It’s just kind of lucky that that one stuck. We could have been very unlucky and I could have wasted a lot of energy and been caught five kilometres from the finish. The race had been quite hard up until that point and as a team we’d been attacking all the time. You have to try though, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Next up: the Ronde van Vlaanderen
The women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen takes place this Sunday. The 142km race covers many of the climbs and cobbles of the men’s race and finishes a couple of ours before.
With 2009 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Emma Johansson just 25 points behind in the World Cup standings, Pooley isn’t expecting to retain her special World Cup leader’s jersey much beyond the weekend. However with her good form, she is more than willing to play the role of domestique for her teammates.
“For us for as a team it’s fantastic to have the leader’s jersey in the World Cup. especially as we’re still learning how to work together as we’ve changed a bit since last year,” she explained.
“But if I’m going to be totally honest I don’t think I can hold on to the jersey. To put it mildly I’m not the best sprinter in the world and realistically I don’t have a chance in the sprinters’ races. If we’re going to try and win the World Cup overall we’d race for Lizzie or Noemi. But I don’t think that’s what we’re going for this year.”
“It would be a shame to leave the jersey at home. We want to try and win Flanders but I’m not the person for that. But perhaps I can work for someone else. If I go it has to be as part of the team’s plans.”