The diminutive Emma Pooley was originally a distance runner and it was only while she was studying for a degree in engineering at Cambridge University that switched to triathlon and finally, when an injury curtailed her running, to competitive cycling. After graduating from Cambridge she became a full time professional and had a breakout year in 2007 when she finished third in the Grande Boucle Féminine, the women’s equivalent of the Tour de France, and made her World Championship début. The 2008 season was narrowly focused on the Olympic Games and after Pooley rode selflessly for Nicole Cooke in the road race, she rode a superb time trial on a course suited to her climbing talents and won the silver medal. The following year she won her first Grande Tour when she won a severely truncated Grande Boucle and was national time trial champion for the first time. If 2009 was a successful year then 2010 should be considered her tour de force. Not only did Emma retain her national time trial title but she also broke Nicole Cooke’s nine-year monopoly on the British road race championship and, at the end of the year, was crowned World Time Trial champion as well. She could not retain her world title in 2011 but did bring home a bronze in her specialist event and placed second in the Giro d’Italia Feminine. Pooley failed to win a medal at the 2012 Olympics but won two silvers, in the time trial and road race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She announced her retirement from cycling shortly after the Games and took up long distance running and triathlon before returning to the saddle in 2016 and making the Great Britain team for the Rio Games but, again, she returned home without a medal.