Petite Pooley's course for concern as Brit fears she won't repeat Beijing time-trial heroics
16:33 GMT, 31 July 2012
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Beijing medallist Emma Pooley believes the London 2012 Olympic Games time-trial course at Hampton Court hampers her hopes of another podium place.
The 29-year-old, who was born in London and finished second in the time-trial four years' ago, favours an undulating route, but the flat nature of the 29-kilometre course is more beneficial to bigger, more powerful riders.
The petite Pooley, a formidable climber who joked about taking advantage of her fondness for chocolate and cheese in an effort to try to put on weight to increase her chances, won the World Championships time-trial in Melbourne in 2010 and 12 months later finished third in Copenhagen as Germany's Judith Arndt triumphed.
'Ever since Beijing the time-trial has been my thing,' Pooley said.
Flat out: Emma Pooley fears she will not be in the medals
'I was really pleased last year at the World Championships, because it was a flat course and I surprised myself by doing better than I expected.
'I want to win it and I want to get a medal at least, but I can't say that I will because others might be better.
'I don't want to sound like a whinging loser, but it's not the ideal course for me. There's no way I can turn my physiology from being small to being a big, powerful rider.
Full focus: Pooley will be giving it her all
'It's not an ideal course. I don't need a mountain, but up and down is definitely better for me.
'I've trained for that kind of course and I'll do my best; I'm quite happy with how I've been training.
'I will ride my absolute best and give it everything. That's all you can do in a time-trial.'
was beaten by Kristin Armstrong of the United States in China and the
American is again likely to be in contention, while Arndt, world silver
medallist Linda Villumsen of New Zealand and Clara Hughes of Canada are
also set to be in contention.
Armitstead, who on Sunday claimed Britain's first medal of the Games
with silver in the road race, following strong support from Pooley, is
also set to ride and has an outside medal chance.
'I'm looking forward to riding an event without any pressure and enjoying being pushed round by the crowd,' Armitstead said.
'Time-trials aren't really my forte, but it's something that I will probably look to work on in the future.'
On Armitstead, Pooley added: 'I think she might be a surprise in the time-trial.'