Britain’s Emma Pooley joins Bigla Cycling for 2013

Emma Pooley has decided to stay in the sport, joining Bigla Sport for 2013. She plans to continue her Ph.D. studies in the offseasons

LONDON (AFP) — Former world time trial champion Emma Pooley has joined Swiss team Bigla Cycling for the 2013 season, the British rider announced on Monday.

Pooley took silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and won the 2010 world time trial championship, while at this year’s London Olympics she helped Great Britain teammate Lizzie Armitstead to silver in the road race.

However, with her former team, Dutch squad AA, set to disband at the end of this season due to a lack of financial support, Pooley had looked to take an extended break from cycling to concentrate on completing her doctorate in geotechnical engineering.

Now, though, the 30-year-old is excited by the prospect of joining Bigla while continuing her studies in the offseason.

“I’m looking forward to this new challenge and I’ll do my best to help the young riders on the Bigla team to make the step up,” Pooley told British Cycling. “I’ve raced against a lot of them in local races in Switzerland and I can see how talented they are. We will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.

“Next year will be different for me than the last few years, because I’ll be spending the winter studying to finish my Ph.D. … that will mean a slower start to the season,” Pooley said.

“But Bigla will give me plenty of racing opportunities, some fun new challenges, and also the freedom to focus a bit on my own goals in the time trial,” she added.