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World Road Championships 2010

 

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Time Trial   - Emma Pooley wins in Geelong


Wednesday 29th September , 22.7 km (1 lap x 22.7km circuit)

 

Race Writeup

Emma Pooley (Great Britain (Cervelo Test Team) had the ride of her life to win the Individual Time Trial World Championship giving herself an early present, a gold medal, for her 28th birthday on Sunday, 3 October.. Judith Arndt (Germany (HTC Columbia) was second and nearly three seconds behind Villumsen at the second time check before overtaking the New Zealand rider for her third world silver medal in the time trial, following similar placings in 2003 and 2004.Linda Villumsen (New Zealand (HTC Columbia) placed third in the discipline for a second consecutive world titles, and created history in becoming the first rider to win world championship medals for two different nations in the time trial. The New Zealand cyclist won her first bronze medal for Denmark last year but switched her allegiance to New Zealand becoming a citizen in 2009. [Villumsen has family in both Denmark and NZ]

American Amber Neben finished fourth just ahead of Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Frace), the oldest competitor at the 2010 World Championships at 51 years of age, placed fifth after earlier hitting the lead before Pooley crossed the line nearly 44 seconds ahead of the multiple-world champion.

Conditions in Geelong were cool and windy for the 22.7km time trial. The course was challenging and viewed by many as the hardest course for the last few years. With three climbs and a technical final 4km, the riders had to push hard from the start to the uphill finish.

Before the event started, Emma Pooley, one of the pre-race favourites was under pressure. Her bike failed the technical test and t

he 2008 Olympic silver medallist had to make changes to her seat position and the level of her bars in the hour before her start. 

Starting last, Arndt possibly had the most pressure. She started slowly and could not match the time gaps of Pooley. In the end Arndt just beat Villumsen, ,01 second gap between the two.

Of the Australian hopefuls for the Time Trial, Shara Gillow (Australia) was the best placed of the three riders finishing one minute 13.18 seconds behind the winner in eighth place, while Vicky Whitelaw was 18th and Alexis Rhodes came 19th. 

Evelyn Stevens (USA) set the fastest pace early on, that was until Longo-Ciprelli got on the course. Longo-Ciprelli held the lead until starting 6 minutes later, Pooley matched and then beat Longo's time as she approached the half way point of the ride. Arndt and Villumsen could not match the split times of Pooley and in the end the petite British rider completed the course, 15 seconds faster than Arndt and 16 seconds faster than Villumsen.

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Post Race Comments

Emma Pooley (GBR) was a little overwhelmed after winning the Gold

medal and becoming World Time Trial Champion. "Yeah it's fantastic, I can't quite believe it. Maybe I will wake up in five minutes and it will be this morning again!". 

The preparation could have been a little smoother, last-minute changes to her bike added to the tension, "We had some last-minute adjustments to make. I have two bikes, one to train on and one to race on, and at the last moment I was racing on the training bike and maybe I haven't raced on it for a while and it hasn't been checked and they (the UCI) were very strict. But at the end of the day it's more about the legs than the bike."

Winning the Gold was a great achievement and as always Pooley was very gracious to her competitors and about her form, "I think the time trial is a fairly good test, I'm really happy, I guess it all went well and I quite like the fact that this year no radios were allowed so no one was getting intermediate time checks which meant all you could do is ride your fastest and the fastest person wins. I prefer not to think about the other competitors, just do the best I can and see what happens at the end."

Pooley was asked how her Olympic Silver medal and this World Championship gold medal compare, "This is different, this is a very special occasion. When I went to the Olympics there was no real expectation on me. The silver was a nice surprise. I have been training specifically for this time trial since the course was announced, so I did have some pressure. I think this is better in some ways, I get to wear a jersey for the whole  year, it is quite cool," added Pooley. 

Reflecting on her development as a rider, Pooley added, "This is great for now. I will be back again for another year for sure. You don't get many chances at World Championships and I suspect that next year the course will not suit me that well. For me it banishes any doubts I have about my abilities. Beijing was awesome but I always had this thing in the back of my mind. Yeah, I got a medal in Beijing but it was a pretty strange course and you don't ever get a course like that at a World Championships. It was just up a bit hill and down a big hill. This is nice because I showed that I can be a technical Time trialist not just an up and down one."

On her being one of the favourites in Saturday's road race, Pooley added, "I'm not sure about Saturday. We have a really strong team but I have lots of teammates. The good thing about our team is we have lots of people that are strong, and I think we have a really good chance - not necessarily me, I think Lizzie [Armitstead], Sharon [Laws], and Nicole [Cooke] are going really well at the moment."

Reflecting on her preparation and the course for the road race, Pooley said, "It is a tough course and it will suit a number of riders. I don't think it is as tough as last year. but preparation is key and I would like to thank my Aunt Veronica Edwards, who has looked after me for the last two weeks to enable me to prepare. She has fed me and ensured that I get to bed on time. Without her support and that of my friends in Perth, I do not think this gold medal would have been possible. "

Judith Arndt (Germany) was very disappointed about missing out on gold, "Well I'm kind of getting used to this, I think this is my fifth medal at a world championships and I've never won gold."

Arndt, started slow start and finished strong, "That is my weakness - I can't start fast enough, that is my problem. I try, but, I don't know..."

Arndt was fed some information during the race, "Well I didn't get too much information. I knew I was a little bit behind Emma Pooley (GBR) and, I don't know, I just gave it everything. I think I did a pretty good ride, I took all the corners pretty good but, for me, a few degrees warmer would have been better."

Arndt and Villumsen are on the same professional team, Arndt was asked how it felt competing against her teammate, with neither gaining the gold, "It is a Time Trial, I don't care, I just want to be the fastest." 

Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) received the bronze medal again, "It doesn't really feel that different, a bronze medal is nice in red colours [Denmark[ and black colours [New Zealand], but to be honest I'm proud this year to be representing a new country."

Villumsen's view on competing against her pro-team team-mate was: "I wished Judith luck and I was very happy to be on the podium with her."

On the support from the local Australian crowd, Villumsen added, "It was awesome, all the way around the course people were yelling my name and 'Go Kiwi!'" On whether she is concerned Australia will adopt her (as Australians often like to claim successful New Zealanders as their own), "Yeah it's possible (laughs)."

Other Comments

Evelyn Stevens (USA) was a little disappointed with finishing out of the medals but overall pleased with her ride. "I crashed yesterday when I was training on the course in the wet, so I was a little happier today with the dry conditions. I went out a little nervous but it is a great course and I am very excited about being here," said Stevens.

Dave Brailsford (Team Director GB), was very proud of his rider, "All credit to Emma. It isn't just about today. She was silver in Beijing and she has improved a lot over the last two years. She has worked hard and made a marked improvement since Beijing and demonstrated that today. She attacked it right from the start and measured it perfectly. Technically she was brilliant today and she is a deserving winner," said Brailsford.

Reflecting on the development of the British team since Beijing, Brailsford added, "It is about building a harmonious team and tactically we have so many avenues now compared to where we were a few years ago. Before it was just Nicole [Cooke] and a few riders to try to support her. Now we have so many more options. I would imagine that Emma [Pooley] will be heavily marked, but then we have Sharon [Laws], Lizzie {Armitstead] and Nicole [Cooke] who are all capable of winning the race. I think that we are probably one of the strongest if not the strongest teams here. That is not something we have been able to say in previous years, this is really a world class team."

Looking to a possible future Sky professional team, Brailsford added, "Obviously looking at the performances that would be the natural way to go. But after my experiences this year, putting a team out there is not as easy as it first seems. It is not as easy as saying we will have a british team and you will join. The girls have to want to be part of any set up rather than riding for another pro team. It is certainly something we want to consider in the future."

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Country Time Km/Hr
1 Emma POOLEY Great Britain 32:48.4 41.697
2 Judith ARNDT Germany 33:03.6 41.379
3 Linda VILLUMSEN New Zealand 33:04.2 41.365
4 Amber NEBEN USA 33:26.1 40.915
5 Jeannie LONGO-CIPRELLI France 33:32.4 40.787
6 Evelyn STEVENS USA 33:48.5 40.462
7 Tara WHITTEN Canada 33:54.3 40.347
8 Shara GILLOW Australia 34:01.6 40.203
9 Tatiana GUDERZO Italy 34:10.6 39.961
10 Emilia FAHLIN Sweden 34:10.6 40.026

 

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