Track and road cyclist Joanna Rowsell is a key member of Britain’s world beating national team. She has worn the Rainbow Jersey as World Champion in the Team Pursuit three times and won Olympic gold in the same discipline at the London 2012 Olympics. Rowsell was born in Sutton in May 1988. She did not start cycling until the age of 15 when, on a whim, she took part in some testing carried out at her school by British Cycling talent scouts. Remarkably, after further assessment, she was accepted into the national Talent Team programme and competed her first junior year in 2005, winning the Junior Women’s National 2k Individual Pursuit title.
A year later she was representing Britain internationally as well becoming Under 23 Nation Road Race champion. By 2007 she was riding as a senior and had joined her first professional outfit, winning the British National Circuit Race Championships. On finishing school Rowsell moved to Manchester to concentrate on cycling fulltime; the results of this increased intensity were evident when, in 2008, she won gold in the Team Pursuit at her first Senior World Track Championships.
Over the next three years Rowsell continued to claim victories at a national and international level. Her consistent form won her a place in the Team Pursuit at her home Olympics, where she and her teammates broke the world record three time on their way to gold. She was rewarded for this success by being appointed an MBE in the 2013 New Years Honours list.