Cycling: Pooley still cannot believe historic time trial victory

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The Independent Online

Great Britain's Emma Pooley said yesterday she was stunned by the achievement of winning gold in the women's time trial at the World Road Championships in Geelong, Australia.

Pooley, the 2008 Olympic time trial silver medallist, became the first British woman to win a medal of any kind at the event. She was quickest at every checkpoint on the 22.9km course but, despite her dominance, the 27-year-old said she was still having difficulty taking in the magnitude of her success.

"It's fantastic, I can't quite believe it," she said. "Maybe I will wake up in five minutes and it will be this morning again."

Marginally in the lead at the first time-check, Pooley extended her advantage and finished in 32 minutes 48.44 seconds, at the time the fastest by 43.94sec. The Cervelo TestTeam rider had to endure a nervous wait for the remaining competitors, but her nearest rival, Judith Arndt of Germany, was 15.17sec adrift with New Zealand's Linda Melanie Villumsen in third.

Pooley said: "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 is now one of the favourites for tomorrow's road race and she believes British riders can enjoy even more success. "We have a really strong team but I have lots of team-mates. The good thing 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."

In the under-23s time trial, Alex Dowsett suffered a puncture, forcing him to finish on a road bike. He eventually came home in 31st place.