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Name: Emma Pooley

Age: 25

From: Wandsworth, London

Disciplines: Women?s Road Race

Career synopsis: Pooley was spotted after her fourth place at the British National Road Race in 2005 and soon signed for Team Fat Birds UK. Pooley has had several successes on the road including first in the Rund um Schönaich in 2007 as well as the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in 2008. Emma has since signed for the Team Specialized Designs Squad and her experience on the road will be invaluable if Cooke is to take home the Gold Medal.

Titles held: None as yet

Two things you didn?t know about… Pooley never planned to become a cyclist and only started as a way of keeping fit when injured from running. Pooley also combines cycling with studying for a PhD in soil engineering.

Olympic Games 2008MINI INTERVIEW: EMMA POOLEY

Have you ever been to China before?

I went to Beijing in December last year to pre-ride the course, and I have been to Hong Kong for a conference. I rode around the course in the snow, but I think it will be a bit different in the summer. The course is great; it suits the whole team?s abilities. We are all strong climbers and it has got a big hill in it.

Are your family coming out to China to watch?

I didn?t encourage them to, because I wouldn?t get to see them and I didn?t want them to spend their valuable holiday time and money on tickets. And you can see it quite well on TV. My parents are quite excited about it.

Which Olympian would you most like to meet?

Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe. I come from a running background, so my childhood hero was Paula Radcliffe. I will always remember the expression of surprise of Holmes face when she won at the last Olympics: even she couldn?t believe it. It made you realise how humble she was. I would really like to meet her, so I hope she is there.

What non-cycling Olympic event do you enjoy watching?

Endurance running.

How do you cope with all the hanging around?

There is not so much hanging around as a road rider because you spend more time racing. I take an iPod and lots of books with me ? I am doing a PhD in soil engineering.

Any plans to take time off after the games?

I have got a few days in Beijing while I am recovering so I am going to watch a few events there. I fly back a few days after the time trial (if I am selected), straight back to Switzerland and back into training for the World Championships. I can?t just sit around, eating pie!