British Cycling’s two-time Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell Shand has announced her retirement from professional cycling having enjoyed a successful 10-year career representing the Great Britain Cycling Team.
Joanna, who was talent spotted at her school in Surrey, developed as a young rider in Go-Ride Clubs, Sutton CC and VC Londres. She joined British Cycling’s Talent Team, as it was then known in 2004 and progressed through each stage of the pathway programmes, winning her first team pursuit world championship title in 2008 at the age of 19 alongside Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero. From there, Joanna won the world title a further three times and also won the world title in the individual pursuit in 2014.
At the Olympic Games in London 2012, Joanna won her first Olympic gold medal alongside Laura Kenny and Dani King in the team pursuit with the trio breaking the 3km team pursuit world record six consecutive times to set the 3:14.051 mark that still stands today. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2013 for her services to the sport of cycling.
Joanna went on to match the feat of winning Olympic gold and setting a new world record in Rio, this time alongside Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Laura Kenny with the 4km world record 4:10.236.
Speaking of Joanna’s retirement, British Cycling’s chair Jonathan Browning said: “We fully respect Joanna’s decision to retire from elite cycling and on behalf of British Cycling I’d like to wish her the best of luck as she starts her new chapter. 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.”
Joanna is not stepping away from her bicycle just yet and aims to complete l’Etape du Tour in July, as well as focussing on her new coaching company, details of which will be on her website soon.