Great Britain’s Emma Pooley took an impressive eighth place in her World Championships debut in Stuttgart, a result described by BC?s Shane Sutton as ?a key step towards her riding in the Beijing Olympics. It was very impressive, especially for a first timer at this level.?
The top ten placing ensures that GB will have two riders in Beijing 2008 in the Women?s time trial.
Pooley was just 92 seconds slower on the 25.1 kilometre course in Stuttgart than German winner Hanka Kupfernagel, a course described by Sutton as ?not as difficult as everybody had been saying.?
?It was much more for power riders than you would have thought, the climbs were there but the climbers certainly didn?t have an edge on the rest of the field.?
Both of Britain?s two representatives, Pooley and Wendy Houvenaghel, had incident free rides. Houvenaghel had a relatively slowish start but by the end of the course was almost inside the top 20 on the split times, whilst Pooley showed her strength in the second half of each of the two laps.
?We?ve learned an awful lot about Emma over just this one course, we?ll go back, put the data together and be able to get a lot of improvements for her Beijing program.? Sutton added.
?For her morale, too, it?s been a seriously important ride.?
?Emma was strongest on the uphill sections, which made sense given that?s the part that suited her the best, and also makes us optimistic for Beijing where a large part of the course is uphill too.? Endurance coach Dan Hunt added.
He said that Houvenhaghel?s 25th place ?might not be brillant on paper but in terms of the power she was producing it was a result up there with the top women riders, which is very encouraging.?
World Championships Women?s Time Trial 25.1km
1 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 34-43
2 Kristin Armstrong (USA) at 23sec
3 Christian Soeder (Austria) at 42sec
4 Amber Neben (USA) at 1-02
5 Christine Thorburn (USA) at 1-11
8 Emma Pooley at 1-32
25 Wendy Houvenaghel at 2-39
2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS
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Official 2007 Road World Championships website: www.radwm2007.com.
Union Cycliste Internationale: www.uci.ch.