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Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell Shand retires

Jack Elton-Walters
14 Mar 2017

Joanna Rowsell Shand (left) on the podium at the London 2012 Olympic Games; a gold medal she defended at Rio 2016

In a statement on her website, Joanna Rowsell Shand has announced that she will be retiring from international competitive cycling. Her career spans over 10 years with the British Cycling squad, in which time she has won five World titles, four European titles, gold at the Commonwealth Games, numerous World Cup rounds and National Championships, all in addition to her two Olympic gold medals.

'I have achieved everything I've ever wanted to in cycling,' the 28-year-old said.

British Cycling has been under fire from all sides recently, with former riders such as Nicole Cooke scathing in their criticism.

Rowsell Shand, however, was positive about the national organisation as she looked back on her career.

'I want to thank the amazing team at British Cycling; from the world class team behind the team who work tirelessly to ensure we have the best preparation for events, to the very first youth coaches who talent spotted me back when I was 15. I couldn’t have done it without you!'

Although stepping away from top-level international cycling, Rowsell Shand won't be hanging up her wheels completely.

'I’m enjoying doing some coaching work including setting up my own company, Rowsell Shand Coaching,' she said.

Such a move is a common step for retired riders, with many looking to continue working in the sport once their own racing days come to an end.

Later this year the now former-Olympian will be back in the saddle when she takes on the Etape du Tour in July.

'[It] will be my longest bike ride ever! Being more accustomed to racing for 4km, the challenge of riding 180km in mountainous terrain will be a long way from what I am used to but I am never one for shying away from a tough target,' she added.

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