After winning the silver medal in the women?s time trial at the Beijing Olympics, Great Britain?s Emma Pooley was hoping for another medal at the world championships in Varese and so was not satisfied with eighth place.
Sharon Laws finished 19th in a time of 35-54 but was happy with her first major international time trial event.
Pooley set a time of 34-48, finishing 57 seconds slower than world new champion Amber Neben of the USA. She was third fastest at the first intermediate split time at the top of the climb but then lost precious seconds and slipped to eighth at the second split after 15.26km.
?If I?d finished top ten last year [she was eighth], this year I?m thinking I should do better, and it?s hard to justify it,? Pooley said as she warmed down after her ride.
?If I come second in Beijing, why can?t I come second here? And I don?t know really. I wanted to show I can ride well on any course and show I?m not a one-trick pony. I?m a little bit disappointed to be honest But it?s not the end of the world.?
Pooley used her special time trial handle bars that allowed her to climb in her usual road race position in Beijing. They were useful on the early climb in Varese but bigger, stronger and more powerful riders were able to produce more speed on the descents, despite Pooley turning a 54×11 gear for long spells.
?The course is tougher than it looks because it?s up and down the whole way,? she said.
?The last 10km was hard for me because it?s hard to concentrate and keep going that little bit faster. Maybe I wasn?t as fast as I should have been, but it was good to start hard and get going. It?s better than starting with a descent, I liked that bit. I was hoping to catch the girl in front but I didn?t and I?m a bit miffed about that.?
Most of the riders who finished in front of Pooley were well-known time trial experts but that did not ease her disappointment.
?Obviously I hope I?m going to keep on improving, but I?m not going to say ?oh, it?s not fair, they?ve had more time to practice than me?,? she said.
?[Time trialing] isn?t rocket science. I hope I can keep riding for a few more years and all hope is not lost. But you come to any race like this and you prepare for it and hope to win it. I?m disappointed but I?ll win next year I guess.?
Pooley in action during the Worlds TT. Photo by Luc Claessen
With the time trial over, Pooley turned her thoughts to Saturday?s road race.
?I?ve heard it?s a tough course but road racing is so unpredictable. I don?t actually like that aspect of not knowing what?s going to happen,? she said.
?I like the fact with time trial that you can go out and concentrate on yourself and not get distracted. In road racing anything can happen. You get lucky and get away or also have a bad day. It?s a team race, that puts you under pressure in many ways because you are sharing responsibility with your team mates. We?ve got a good line-up, so I hope we can do well.?
LAWS LEARNING FAST
Sharon Laws started early in the time trial and was in the hot seat for the third best time before slipping down the results to 19th place. Varese was her first world time trial championships and she has learned a lot for the future.
?I would have liked to do a little bit better but obviously everyone else?s legs were very good,? Laws said with a smile.
?I was really nervous before hand and guess you learn by doing more. I always like to do the best I can and gave it everything. I felt quite good at the start and probably rode the hill too quickly, but I was feeling comfortable with it and rode at quite a good cadence.?
?I rode the technical section better than I thought I would. I struggled on the other hill and that?s where I started to tire a little bit. I was also probably braking too much on some of the descents. I could see the girl in front which is always encouraging. I had a bit of trouble getting past her on a descent but then it was fine. Unfortunately I changed into the 44 (small chain ring) for the last hill and I couldn?t get back into the big ring for the finish, so I lost a few seconds.?
?I?ve only done the two national time trials and others in stage races but they?re usually less than 10km. I?ve never had a [pre-race] bike check before, I?ve ridden off a ramp once before and I?ve never been followed before. It was all new. In Britain they don?t even shut the road.?
Sharon Laws during her Worlds TT debut. Photo by Luc Claessen
|ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008|
Millar and Cummings ready for Elite men’s time trial
World Champs men’s time trial course notes
Pooley and Laws talk before Worlds time trial
Pooley to use special time trial bars again
British under-23 TT riders finish out of the top 30
Daniel Martin selected for Irish under-23 worlds team
British team heads to Varese with genuine medal hopes
Cancellara to miss World Championships
Swift a close second in final race before Worlds
Rob Hayles on why he’s not riding the Worlds
GB Women’s Worlds team confirmed
British Worlds team starts to take shape
Geraint Thomas called up to Worlds team to replace Cavendish
Mark Cavendish pulls out of Worlds team
2008 WORLD CHAMPS GUIDE
TV coverage guide>>
Brits in the men’s world road race 1998-2007>>
Brits in the women’s world road race 1998-2007>>
Brits in the under-23 world road race 1998-2007>>
Britain’s road world championships medal winners>>