Commonwealth Games 2014: England's Emma Pooley bows out of time trial with silver medal
Pooley announced she will retire after Sunday's road race but was unable to secure gold as Linda Villumsen of New Zealand took the spoils by six seconds
Thursday 31 July 2014
England's Emma Pooley was content with Commonwealth Games silver in her final time-trial as a professional cyclist after giving everything in pursuit of gold.
The 31-year-old London-born rider on Tuesday announced her intention to retire after Sunday's road race in which she will support Lizzie Armitstead.
Pooley had individual ambitions first in the 29.6-kilometre time-trial, which began and finished at Glasgow Green, overtook four riders who started ahead of her and led at every time check before finishing in 42 minutes 31.49 seconds.
However, Linda Villumsen of New Zealand dug deep in the final stages to triumph in 42mins 25.46secs and win by six seconds. Katrin Garfoot of Australia was third in 43:13.91.
"You can't be frustrated when you've done your best," Pooley said.
"It was nice to cross the line with the best time and slightly less nice when someone goes quicker.
"I'm not upset. Linda deserved to win. I don't really want to look back with regrets, because you can't re-race it. I'm thrilled to have a medal at all."
Villumsen has often come close to success and narrowly missed out, finishing second at the Delhi Games four years ago - when Canada's Tara Whitten won - fourth in the London 2012 Olympic time-trial and third in the World Championships later that year.
Villumsen said: "It's a bit of a smack in the confidence when you think you can win and you finish second, third or fourth.
"So when you see your name with one next to it you can't quite believe it. It's amazing."
English riders shared the success as Villumsen is the partner of Emma Trott, the elder sister of double Olympic champion and Glasgow 2014 points race gold medallist Laura Trott.
Emma Trott, who retired after May's Friends Life Women's Tour, wrote on Twitter: "I am simply the proudest person right now! LVillumsen makes me proud every day and I'm very happy to have you as my partner!"
Laura Trott wrote: "Wheyyyyyyy!!!!!! LVillumsen you absolute beauty!!!!! £CommonwealthChamp X"
Pooley was the penultimate rider to roll down the start ramp and held a slender advantage of less than two seconds over Villumsen at the first two time-checks on slick roads.
The 2008 Olympic silver medallist and 2010 world champion enhanced her advantage to more than eight seconds with 6km to go, with the gold between her and Villumsen.
But she could only watch as Villumsen powered through to steal gold.
Pooley, who will take to endurance triathlon later this year, admitted to being cautious through some corners but her main concern was not to tumble to the tarmac in the early stages.
She added: "I was a bit nervous because it was quite a steep start ramp and the paving stones in front of me were wet and I had a big corner coming up. I was mainly thinking 'don't fall off right at the start'.
"I just wanted to get everything out. I knew it was my last time-trial as a professional cyclist.
"It was wonderful to have so many people cheering. There were even some people with Scottish flags shouting Emma, so thanks Scotland.
"It's a nice way to do the last time-trial of my career."
Scotland's Katie Archibald was firmly in contention in third at the first two time checks, but she slipped down the order in the closing kilometres.
The Milngavie rider finished fifth in 43:30.01.
Wales' Elinor Barker, a former world junior champion in the event, was seventh in 43:56.44, while Joanna Rowsell, the individual pursuit champion on the track, clocked 44:45.87 to place 13th, one place behind Wales' Amy Roberts (44:30.63).
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