POOLEY READY TO DO NATIONAL JERSEY PROUD AT GIRO DONNE
Newly-crowned British champion Emma Pooley is in Italy for the Giro Donne, where she will don the national road race jersey for the first time on Friday.
“It’s going to be quite exciting; I was really happy to win the national time-trial, but there aren’t many opportunities to wear it – I’ve only worn it four times this year.”
The ten-day Giro Donne, which runs from July 2 to July 11, is one of the most prestigious women’s races on the calendar. “It’s pretty exciting, it’s a really tough course this year, including a finish on the Stelvio. It suits the strength of the team really well.”
Although Pooley could well figure in one of the mountainous stages, don’t expect to see the selfless Cervelo rider on the top step of the overall podium: “Claudia or Sharon, it doesn’t really matter, but I know that it’s been Claudia’s goal for the whole year and she’s helped me so much at races like Trentino, the Tour de l’Aude and the Fleche Wallonne that I genuinely don’t want to win it in front of her, it just wouldn’t be fair. ”
“I just don’t want to come across as completely selfish and dominant. Obviously I like winning, but I like my teammates more!”
Pooley was unequivocal in her belief that this season has already been her best ever. “I can be really happy with the racing so far this year, I’ve had quite a lot of luck. It’s my best so far for consistency, but I’m more happy that I’ve raced smarter, gotten better tactically and in terms of waiting in races.”
After the Giro, Pooley takes a break before aiming for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Pooley on the podium at the national championships
DOWSETT AND HUTCH CLASH AT CHARLOTTEVILLE 25
Michael Hutchinson and Trek-Livestrong pro Alex Dowsett will clash on Saturday in Hampshire at the Charlotteville 25, in what is arguably the most hotly-anticipated time-trial of the year.
Domestic time-trial dominator Hutchinson has won the 10, 25 and 50 national titles in recent months and is unbeaten this season, but this ought to prove his toughest test to date.
“When I was a first-year senior in 2007, we both did that event and I did a long 48, and he went 16 seconds quicker,” Dowsett said.
“I hope I’m faster now. You just don’t know with Hutchinson, he’s very good at what he does. But if it’s a good day, I’d just like to go as quick as possible.”
Dowsett is using the event as part of his preparation for his next goal, the European under-23 time trial championships, on July 16 in Turkey.
The pair were expected to meet at the National 25 three weeks ago. Missing a qualification time, Dowsett was given a wild card entry by the CTT, only to have it quickly rescinded. A few weeks later, the Essex-born rider broke his scapula at the Olympia’s Tour.
”I had one week completely off the bike, two weeks just getting back into the swing of things, then I was good to go from there,” he explained.
“It’s been troublefree; they’ve really looked after me,” he said, referring to the haemophilia department of the Royal London Hospital, “because a bone breakage in a haemophiliac is quite a bit more serious than usual.”
”I got myself a 10 qualifying time at the weekend and with this 25 coming up, I should be troublefree for next year, should I enter the nationals,” Dowsett wryly added, mindful of his entry problems this year.
FLEEMAN FRUSTRATED AT NATIONALS
After being outsprinted by Dave Clarke at the finish, Team Raleigh’s Dan Fleeman took a solid seventh place in Sunday’s national championship.
“I’m happy with the ride because top ten was my aim,” he said. “At the same time, I’m a little bit disappointed because I think I did four laps chasing on my own. If I’d been with the front five, I don’t think it would have been much harder.”
“I didn’t even realise that Geraint Thomas had been up the road,” he added. “If I did, I would definitely have followed the two other Sky guys [Kennaugh and Stannard who bridged across to the leaders on the first lap].”
“When they went, I hesitated and thought it’s really early. I’m a bit annoyed with myself because I let the opportunity for a medal slip away,” he concluded.
KENNAUGH REFLECTS ON TOUGH SEASON
19-year-old Tim Kennaugh has had a tough opening to his Academy career, since joining in February.
“I had a bit of a bad start to the season: a sore knee and just getting ill a lot,” he said, speaking to Cycling Weekly at the finish of the national road race on Sunday.
“But I’m starting to pick up a bit of condition. I didn’t do the Baby Giro which was dead disappointing, but I’ve trained hard since then.”
While older brother Peter was at the business end of the race, Tim got stuck in and was rewarded with 20th, just missing the U23 podium. “I was getting a bit crampy, I just couldn’t ‘go’, but a lot of people had that problem today. Riding it itself was a task, never mind attacking.”
”I’m disappointed he didn’t win, but he will one day,” he added, relating to his brother’s third consecutive podium finish.