Search

London 2012: Pooley helps Britain to first medal

15:54 29 July 2012

London

London's Emma Pooley represents GB at cycling

Archant

Great Britain grab their first medal of the Games and Wansdworth rider plays a vital part

Great Britain won their first medal of the Olympic Games in a drama-drenched, rain-drenched women’s road race.

Lizzie Armitsead sprinted to a stunning silver medal after going clear in a small breakaway and she will have Wandsworth rider Emma Pooley to thank for helping her along the way.

After the disappointment of Saturday’s race for Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the British men’s team, it was the women who rose to the occasion in superb style in a 140km race.

Pooley, 29, recovered from an early puncture to play a vital part in the road race as she avoided crashes and wet roads to spearhead the British challenge at the front of the pack.

The south London rider, who was second behind Marianne Vos in the Tour of Italy earlier in the year, is a time trial and climbing specialist and she revelled in the two ascents of Box Hill in leafy Surrey, stretching the peloton as the pace increased.

There were plenty of early attacks, with Ellen Van Dyjk, Audrey Condon, Judith Arndt and Vos, but Pooley was always there to cover them as she looked to protect fellow British riders Lizzie Armitstead and current Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.

Pooley attacked herself on the first ascent of Box Hill to stretch out the field, but it was on the second climb that the decisive move was made.

Russian Olga Zabelinskaya made the first move, before Armistead and Shelley Olds from the United States bridged the gap to be joined by the hot favourite Vos.

The four pulled half a minute clear of the chasing pack as Pooley was content to stay in the pack with her team-mate further up the road in the hunt for the medals.

The four leaders were reduced to three with the loss of the American to a puncture and that meant a definite medal for Britain if they could stay clear.

The peloton slowly began to organise a response on the run into London as the rain began to fall more heavily.

Pooley suffered a second puncture in the closing stages and was left to think about the things to come in the time trial – her job was already done.

But the three leaders remained in control to keep the chasing pack at bay and in the final straight on the Mall it was the Dutch girl who just held off Armitstead to grab the gold.

It was silver for Great Britain though and Pooley will be hoping she can add to that in the time trial on Wednesday.

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Thu, 12:00
Islington BC's Cherrelle Brown with coaches Lenny Hagland (left) and Winston Worrell

Islington BC light-welterweight Cherrelle Brown hopes she has given her international prospects a boost after clinching her second national title in Liverpool on Sunday.

Thu, 07:30
Nick Gubbins batting for Middlesex. Pic: Sarah Williams

Sam Robson is confident of forging a strong alliance with Nick Gubbins as Middlesex get used to life without talismanic opener Chris Rogers.

Wed, 17:41
London Blitz defensive back Dave Jennison makes a tackle against Bristol Aztecs. Pic: Phil Rocker

Assistant coach Damian Anderson believes London Blitz will be able to gauge their prospects of European success from Saturday’s home clash with Aix-en-Provence Argonautes.

Wed, 17:34
Niva-Unistream (yellow) celebrate Greg Moorse's opening goal in the Dickie Davies Cup Semi-Final against Mustard. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Niva-Unistream were left disappointed for the second week running, after they were edged out 3-2 by Mustard in the Dickie Davies Cup semi-finals.

Most read sport

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder