Emma Pooley’s silver medal ride in today’s women’s time trial capped a superb week for British road cycling.
The British women have brought home a gold and a silver, for Britain’s best ever performance on the road at the Olympic Games. Emma Pooley’s second place followed Nicole Cooke’s gold medal ride in the road race on Sunday. After that race, Nicole Cooke said that part of her medal belonged to Pooley. Now Pooley has one of her own.
Emma Pooley, silver medallist
I feel fantastic. Obviously gold would be better but I?m not going to complain. But it?s going to take a while to sink in.
I was off so early and there were so many riders to go. I just tried not to think about whether I could win a medal or not. I was a bit miffed to be seeded so early. But maybe it was good ? if you go out early and set a good time, you?re bound to lose it. I was pleased with my time, even though I assumed it would be wiped by the big hitters.
That was the hardest race I?ve done, I think I got it all out. I don?t think there?s anything more I could have done. I was very nearly sick on the line.
I felt a bit tired after Sunday, but most people were in the same situation. And it was hot. You sweat loads in a time trial anyway, I?d rather it was like this than what it was like on Sunday, which would have been horrible. We?d trained for these conditions.
It didn?t feel good on the hill. It hurt. What was good was that I caught somebody ? didn?t know whether she was going slow or I was going fast, but it was encouraging. I was pleased with that.
I read that Chris Boardman described me as a great climber. He also said I didn?t have much power ? I was a bit pissed off with that!
Dave Brailsford, BC Performance Director
Her ability to climb made the difference.
She?s one of the world?s best climbers, we know that. She felt she didn?t get it all out in the road race, so today she wanted to make sure she got it all out, and she did.
She was brilliant. Her first split to the top was unbelievable, but we?re not surprised. As we said all along, this is a unique course for a road race and a time trial. It?s uphill, then downhill, and the downhill is so wide it?s not even technical. She punches such a small hole in the air and she?s so strong, for a small person. She?s got so much power that she could drive it hard on the downhill. I think only one or two people took any time back off her on the descent.
Nicole Cooke, 15th
I gave it absolutely everything on Sunday. I had to dig really deep, and it probably took a lot out of me.
But I still wanted to give it absolutely everything today because it?s a race and that?s the kind of person I am. I want to do my best and not have any regrets afterwards. I did my best.
I?m very pleased with Emma?s result. She played a critical part in my gold medal on Sunday, and I said on the day that Sharon and Emma deserved a part of that. It?s absolutely brilliant that Emma has got her own medal today.
Kristin Armstrong, gold medal winner
I knew that Emma and I were close at the top of the climb. A lot of people said that the race would be won at the top of the climb, so I had to try and prove them wrong. I rode as fast as I possibly could and had to dig deep. My pursuit training helped me finish strongly.
This is a dream, has been since I was a child.
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