Britain’s double Olympic gold medalist 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.
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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