Many times present on a major championship podium but never on the top step, New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen finally claimed her first gold medal today with a six second margin over former World Champion at the discipline Emma Pooley (England), riding her last time trial as a pro cyclist.
The bronze medal went to the German-born professional with Orica-AIS Katrin Garfoot, riding for Australia, who held off the strong late challenge from Kiwi Jaime Nielson by 16 seconds.
In fifth place only one second further back was Scotland’s Katie Archibald, the 20-year-old showing her adaptability after racing last week on the track in the endurance events.
When she swept past us on a slight uphill gradient Archibald was going quickly, having just caught her two-minute woman Leah Kirchmann of Canada – but that in itself may not have been an indicator of speed, Kirchmann riding her road bike and showing a bloodied knee probably a sign of a spill in the first part of the course through the city streets.
Archibald spoke after the finish of not having ‘got it all out’ and being ‘really annoyed’ with herself, all of which will go into the experience bank and help her in future major games, you have to think.
Keen to end her professional career with a victory, Pooley was the leader through all the on-course time checks, and on our watch just short of mid-distance, we had her five seconds up on Villumsen, looking smooth and efficient over the drag.
Pooley extended her advantage to a maximum of eight seconds with just the final sector into the city and around Glasgow Green to the finish to go, and it was here that Villumsen pulled back the deficit and put enough time into her rival to ensure first place, Pooley admitting afterwards that she had perhaps been overly cautious on the damp bends in town.