Less than 24 hours after taking the Trofreo Alfredo Binda World Cup, 25-year-old Emma Pooley was back at work on her soil engineering Ph.D. in Zurich, Switzerland.

At the same time, the Briton was still savouring the triumph achieved by a 40 kilometre lone break in the Italian round of the World Cup. It was a win taken ahead of some of the biggest stars in the sport, including Nicole Cooke (Halfords-Bike Hut).

?It?s a big surprise, particularly as it was only my second race of the season, and in the first I?d crashed so I didn’t finish where I wanted.? she told cyclingweekly.co.uk.

?Coming so early in the year made it hard to know what my form really was.?

She was also surprised at the fact that other teams let her go, ?particularly as that was how I?d taken another important win, a stage in the Tour of Thuringen last year.

But perhaps they thought I?d gone away stupidly early and would get caught anyway.?

Asked whether she thought it was significant that Cooke was amongst the defeated riders, she pointed out that the Welshwoman is “taking the season a lot more steadily than usual. She’s got the Olympics in August and that’s a good way off yet.”

Whatever the case, a World Cup victory is not to be sneezed at in anybody’s book. The Specialized rider?s win came after she went away on a short steep climb, at the start of a 16km circuit they did three times.

“I got out there with two other riders, then they faded and I was there by myself, and thought I might as well take a chance, keep going and see what happened.

“My directeur sportif was asking me over the radio what I was doing, but there was only a lap and a bit to go by the time his car caught up with me, and by then he was pretty pleased.

“He wanted me to start celebrating before I crossed the line, but I wasn?t taking any risks. I waited until I reached the finish!?

She instantly classifies the win as ?the biggest one of my career by far. It?s great for my confidence and morale.

“I?ve been doing a lot of time trialling and descending work with my coach Tim Williams, and yesterday, in an attack like that, it really paid off.?

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Pooley wins Alfredo Binda