Emma Pooley wins National Road Race Championship


This year's National Road Championships was held on an incredibly tough 7.5 mile circuit in Pendel, Lancashire, with the mile long climb to be tackled eight times. But the first time down the 50mph descent a dreadful crash on a corner stopped team cars and then, to add to the chaos, more riders crashed into the back of these cars. Ouch!


Emma Pooley had been on the attack from the first climb and a small breakaway had formed before the race had to be stopped for over an hour.  Ambulances were called to the narrow circuit and some riders were taken to hospital.  As a result of the delay, the organisers then reduced the race to half distance (4 laps).  A move which most believed would play into the hands of defending champion, Nicole Cooke.


Emma Pooley National Road Race


As soon as the race restarted, Pooley continued to attack relentlessly, but she was unable to lose the reigning Olympic Champion, Cooke, who was looking to take her eleventh senior road race title.  The pace did however mean that is was a select group of four riders; Lizzy Armitstead (Cervelo), Sharon Laws (Cervelo) and Nicole Cooke (NicoleCooke.com) with Emma Pooley (Cervelo) who would contest the tile.  Given this group, the smart money was on Cooke and it looked like Pooley was resigned to helping her team mates put up a good fight, as she rode on the front, keeping the pace high.  In the final moments, Cooke attacked and Armitstead and Laws went with her, Pooley was momentarily dropped and looked to be out of the medals, but she worked her way back to the the leaders and was suddenly off the front with a small gap.  This was enough of a lead for Pooley, the Olympic Time Trial Sliver medallist, who put her head down whilst Cooke tried to chase her down.  In the final reckoning, Armitstead jumped past Cooke to take silver and the under 23 title, with team mate Laws taking fourth place.


 “It was a fast race from the start. There was a break-away of four riders, three of them ours plus Nicole Cooke,” said Egon van Kessel, Cervelo Sports Director. “Our plan was to set up the sprint for Lizzie, but Pooley went so fast that Cooke couldn’t follow her. Pooley soloed to the finish and Armitstead won the sprint coming from behind Cooke, and Sharon Laws came fourth. Great performances!”

Emma was justifiable thrilled “I am really triumphant. It was a very hilly circuit and I wasn’t able to drop them in the climbs. The last part was pretty flat though and I didn’t believe I could win it at that point,” said Emma Pooley said following her victory today. “I thought that Lizzie and Nicole would be stronger than me, but in the last kilometer I found a gap and just went solo over the line, absolutely fantastic. I have really been working for this for years. I’ve not succeeded in the past but now I am really pleased to wear the jersey.”



1.   Emma Pooley, Cervelo TT 1.28.59
2.   Lizzie Armitstead, Cervelo TT, @ 8 seconds
3.   Nicole Cooke, Nicolecooke.com st
4.   Sharon Laws, Cervelo TT, st
5.   Katie Colclough, 100% ME, @2.02
6.   Emma Trott, Moving Ladies, @2.16
7.   Natalie Creswick, Twickenham CC st
8.   Kara Chesworth, Dysynni CC @3.32
9.   Sara Storey, Horizon Fitness, @3.34
10. Joanna Rowsell, private member @5.39
11. Alli Holland, Maxgear RT
12. Corrine Hall, Team Corridori
13. Emma Silversides, Redsun Ladies Team
14. Michelle Dillion, Private Member @5.45
15. Nicola Juniper, Cuclos Uno, @7.16
16. Lucy Martin, 100% ME @7.45
17. Helen Wyman, Kona FSA Factory Team st
18. Rebecca Curley, Rapha Condor CC
19. Jane Barr, Stirling BC
20. Leanne Thompson, Vanilla Bikes.com
21. Emma Grant, AW Cycles
22. Catherine Williamson, Rapha Condor CC
23. Mari Todd, Sandy Wallce Cycles
24. Mathilde Matthysse, Ferryhill Wheelers @7.50
25. Sarah Byrne, Motorpoint Marshalls, @9.29
26. Julia Shaw, Private Member, @13.03

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