There's no place like home for Rowsell Shand

There's no place like home for Rowsell Shand
By Sportsbeat

09/11/2017 at 23:46Updated

She had a career that took her all over the world and amassed a medal cabinet most athletes would only ever dream about but for Joanna Rowsell Shand, home is very much where the heart is.

Born and bred in London, it was Manchester where the two-time Olympic champion plied her trade - the boards of the city's National Cycling Centre becoming a second home until her retirement in March.

In 2008, it was the venue in which she won the first of her five world titles, before going on to seal World Cup gold and bronze on the same track later that year.

This weekend, the Track World Cup will return to Manchester for the first time since 2013, and for Rowsell Shand the track holds plenty of memories - and not just of winning medals.

"Oh it's awesome. It is just so nice, because it's the track you train on so you know all the little differences in the wood," said Rowsell Shand.

"You know the best places to ride, but the noise from the crowd lifts you so much.

"It really just does spur me on, especially at that last kilometre when everything is really hurting and you are fighting for the line."

Rowsell Shand was no stranger to the podium last time the Track World Cup rolled into Manchester, winning individual and team pursuit gold.

Just four months later, in February 2014, she repeated the feat at the World Championships in Cali, and she insists the World Cups played a crucial part in her career development.

"People were surprised when I won the two golds at the Worlds that year," she added.

"But having won two golds at the Manchester World Cup just three or four months beforehand, I knew in my mind that I was going to the World Championships looking for two golds.

"The World Cup has really been quite key in sort of setting me up and me believing in myself."

Sportsbeat 2017