Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley is to retire from cycling after the Commonwealth Games and focus on a future in triathlon.
Pooley, 31, came second in the time trial in Beijing in 2008 and is the current British Cycling National Time Trial Champion. She revealed her last outing will be in the Commonwealth Games road race on Sunday.
“I considered retiring after the London Olympics, but I didn’t feel like I was ready,” she said. “I’ve been mulling it over, and came to the conclusion that the Commonwealth Games is the perfect opportunity.
“It’s a big event, it’s almost at home, and I want to go out properly, when I’ve planned it and have no regrets.”
In the past the endurance athlete has been critical of the lack of prize money in women’s cycling, bemoaning how she received more for her third place in February’s Challenge Philippines than for winning any cycling event in her professional career.
A renowned force in the peloton, where at just 5ft 2inches tall and 48kg she excels on the climbs, Pooley won three stages in the recent Giro Rosa before she lined up for the history-making La Course on the Champs-Elysées before the Tour de France finale last Sunday.
Possessing a genuine threat at long-distance triathlon, the London-born athlete only moved to cycling aged 22 after injury halted her long-distance running career and as an Age Group World Champion at duathlon in 2004. She returned to multisport last year by winning the famously tough Swissman Extreme Triathlon in 12:39hrs before finishing fifth at Ironman Switzerland 2013.
As she completed her PhD in geotechnical engineering in Zurich last year (under the tuition of former British Triathlon Federation chair and ITU vice-president Sarah Springman), Pooley also posted an impressive 2:44hrs marathon to win in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Having finished third at Challenge Philippines in February – just under eight minutes behind Australian middle-distance powerhouse Melissa Hauschildt – Pooley plans to race the long course Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen in September and then take on triathlons in Thailand, Australia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
“I’m super lucky to have been a pro cyclist, but there are other things I dream of doing as well,” she added: “I’m 31, which is a good age for endurance sports, and I’m sure I can do better in triathlon if I focus on it. I’m so excited about running through mountains!”
(Image: …some guy)