May 26 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, Olympic reporter
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Wandsworth cycling star Emma Pooley finishes a valiant sixth in the Olympic time trial at Hampton Court Palace
GB cyclist Emma Pooley’s valiant attempt to grab a medal in the Olympic time trial ended in disappointment as the ease of the course proved to be more beneficial to her rivals.
The 29-year-old Wandsworth rider went into the 29km time trial, which started and finished at Hampton Court Palace as an outside bet for a medal, but the renowned climber was starved of her favourite ascents and in the end she finished in sixth place of the 24 entrants.
Pooley started well and was in fourth at the first time check after 9.1kms, just 10 seconds behind leader and reigning Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong from the United States.
But the pressure proved a little too much for the south Londoner and she could not match that pace for the rest of the race.
Russian Olga Zabelinskaya set the mark to beat when she finished the course in 37 minutes 57 seconds and it proved to be a tough nut to crack for the rest of the field.
Road race silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead couldn’t get near it and finished in 10th place overall, while Pooley finally arrived in a time of 38.37 which put her second as she crossed the line, but with the big favourites still to come.
German Judith Arndt finally beat the Russian’s leading time with 37.50, but Armstrong, who had led at every time check was not to be denied.
She raced over the line in 37.34 to win by a whopping 16 seconds and retain her Olympic time trial title.
Pooley was in reflective mood after the race. “You always have to push your hardest and i did,” she said.
“I don’t think I could have gone any faster. In time trial you can’t affect anyone else.
“I’m really disappointed, but if someone else is faster than you, you can’t do anything.”
Pooley was quick to stress that she had enjoyed her Olympics though.
“I was really pleased to help Lizzie (Armitstead) in the road race,” she said. “I just wish we could have gone up Box Hill in the time trial!”