OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Women's cyclists finish outside of medals
By Andrew Greaves, Sportsbeat, London 2012
GREAT Britain cyclist Emma Pooley said she wished that the women’s time trial had included a climb up Box Hill after missing out on the medals because of the flat London 2012 Olympic course.
DARK DARK PLACE: Road race silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead endures pain like no other in cycling time trial
Pooley had to settle for sixth place – covering the flat 29 kilometre course in 38:37.70 minutes – while teammate Lizzie Armitstead, who finished second in women’s road race which included two loops of Box Hill, was tenth with a time of 39:26.24 mins.
Despite the disappointment, Pooley admitted there was little more she could have done to stop USA’s Kristin Armstrong from retaining her Olympic title.
"You always have to push your hardest and I did. I don't think I could have gone any faster. In time trial you can't affect anyone else,” Pooley said.
“I'm really disappointed but if someone else is faster than you, you can't do anything.
"I was really pleased to help Lizzie in the road race. I just wish we could have gone up Box Hill in the time trial."
Both Pooley and Armitstead rode well but neither was able to ride hard enough to get within touching distance of the medal positions, let alone winner Armstrong.
The American, who won gold four years ago in Beijing, retained her title in blistering style, completing the course in 37:34.82 mins, 15.47 seconds ahead of Germany’s Judith Arndt in second.
Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya – third in the road race on Saturday – scooped a surprise bronze, seven seconds further back.
Armitstead, who is not a natural time trialist, admitted the going was tough out on the course.
"That was just awful. You have just got to put yourself in such a dark, dark place to get through that with your mind. When I saw the 10 km to go banner, I was so happy. I've never felt such pain like that," she said.
"It didn't feel like a lap of honour [after her earlier road race silver], the whole thing was just painful. It is something I need to improve on if I want to compete in it
“I'm disappointed for Emma after all the work she put in and helped me in the road race."
© Sportsbeat 2012