Great Britain endurance rider Joanna Rowsell has spoken of her determination to claim a spot in the women’s team pursuit for next year’s Olympics and admitted that nobody’s place is certain.
Rowsell (right) shows off team pursuit gold at the European Track Championships with Laura Trott (left) and Dani King (centre)
The 23 year-old, whose most recent victory in the event came at the European Track Championships in Apeldoorn along with Dani King and Laura Trott, commented that the competition for places will only drive each rider to achieve better times.
Speaking before the announcement that only four riders will continue to train for the event at London – Dani King, Laura Trott, Wendy Houvenaghel and herself, Rowsell told Press Association Sport: "I think you could put any combination of the three of us up to ride and you'd get a very good performance. Nobody's certainly got a place and that pushes us all on to keep going faster."
Rowsell began competing in the event in 2008 and has ridden 24 times, of which 20 have been in the starting position, a role in which she has, over time, grown in strength.
"I'm quite a good starter, doing the man one job which is about getting the team up to speed and on race pace. It takes someone that can do that sprint effort and be able to recover for it quickly. In the women's team pursuit, because we've only got three riders, rather than four, there's less time to recover."
Rowsell, who is a two-time world champion, also spoke of the condition alopecia and how she believes it has given her more determination to succeed.
"It's come and gone three times now. It's a bit unpredictable, but I think I've been quite accepting of it. I've always been very determined and ambitious and if anything it might've spurred me on to be even more focused.
"I don't do cycling in order to inspire other people with alopecia, but I do like to think if other girls saw me and if that gave them more confidence to go out and do what they want to do, that would make me happy."