Joanna Rowsell Shand: Double Olympic gold medallist retires

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GB women win team pursuit final at London 2012

Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand has announced her retirement from international cycling.

The 28-year-old track cyclist won gold in the team pursuit at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

In a career spanning 10 years, Rowsell Shand was a five-time world and four-time European champion.

“The decision to step away has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” she said. “I believe I have more to offer the world.”

Rowsell Shand, who also won Commonwealth Gold in 2014 in the individual pursuit, says she will now focus on a coaching career and will be taking part in the L’Etape du Tour in July, an amateur race which covers the same route as one stage of the Tour de France.

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British Cycling tweeted: “One of the best there has ever been”.

Rowsell Shand began competitive cycling aged 16, having been talent spotted by the British Cycling Apprentice Programme.

After success in the junior ranks she won her first world title in 2008 in the team pursuit and successfully defended the title a year later.

A third world title came in 2012 before she won Olympic gold in London, alongside Dani King and Laura Kenny. She was made an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to cycling.

Commonwealth gold, a fourth team world title and a first individual pursuit rainbow jersey, crowned a successful 2014 and two years later she completed the Olympic double in the Rio Velodrome, alongside Kenny, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker.

Over two Olympic Games she was part of a team that broke the world record on all six of its rides.

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‘A fantastic role model’

British Cycling’s chairman Jonathan Browning said: “As only one of a few women in Great Britain who has two Olympic gold medals to her name, Joanna can be extremely proud of what she has achieved.

“It’s not only her on-bike achievements which have made Joanna an asset to British Cycling, it’s also what she’s done for the sport off the bike, epitomising the role of an ambassador and encouraging so many women and children to take up our sport of cycling.”

Former team-mate Dani King on Twitter: Congratulations to @JoRowsellShand on such an incredible career. Thank you for making mine a more enjoyable one.

Seven-time Paralympic gold medallist Jody Cundy on Twitter: Amazing career, from one of the nicest riders you’ll ever meet. Good luck with all the future brings.

British track cyclist Andy Tennant‏ on Twitter: Congrats to @JoRowsellShand on her retirement. One of the all time greats and a fantastic role model and person, I wish her all the best.

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