Women’s Interview: Olympic Champion Joanna Rowsell


This weekend in Manchester at the World Cup, Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell will be racing in front of a home crowd again

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Organisers of The Women’s Tour, Sweetspot (http://thetour.co.uk/), recently interviewed new European Champion Joanna Rowsell who had just won yet an other Gold medal, this time at the European Track Championships in Holland.

Joanna’s event is the Women’s Team Pursuit and that has recently changed from being a three woman event over 3,000 metres to a four up race over 4,000 metres. Asked what it was like to be back racing on the track ahead of a busy winter on the boards, the Londoner replied “It’s really exciting getting back on the track with the girls and doing the 4k team pursuit. It’s a new challenge,” said Rowsell.

“It’s great having four riders as you have more recovery in the line and because there’s more riders, when you do a change, there is a longer string (line of riders), so that’s all really useful.

“The only issue is there are 16 laps on the board and not 12! Always during a team pursuit I try not to look at the lap board, but at some point I give in and have a look and hopefully it’s around three laps to go. In Holland I looked, and it said seven and I was like ‘Oh, that’s a long way!’ Luckily we’d got over half way and were past the eight.”


Joanna in the old GB colours in 2012 when the Team Pursuit was for three riders. At Manchester, as it was at the Europeans and Nationals, four rider line ups will race in the event.

“The main issue is it’s just longer and it means we’ve got to train to get that little bit more endurance while maintaining the speed, but it’s an exciting challenge to have and I’m enjoying it.”

Talking about the Manchester World Cup, Joanna explained that its simply the best of all the World Cups! “Manchester World Cup is always the best World Cup of the season, all the other nations think it is! We always have the biggest and best crowds. In fact, they might actually not like it as they are always cheering for us and not them”.

“It’s nice to compete on your home track and not have those sort of nerves when you go to somewhere new and are trying out a new track. It’s always nice to compete at home and those crowds make it very special.”

The Manchester World Cup isn’t the only big event to look forward as the Glasgow based Commonwealth Games are in July 2014, less than a year away now. Like they are for a lot of English cyclists, the Games in Glasgow are an important milestone for Joanna. “The big target for next year will be the Commonwealth Games and I want to compete on the track and on the road there.”

“The events I believe I can medal in are the time trial and the pursuits. So the pursuit on the track is first and the time trial about a week later. I prefer the track to be first in the competition, so I’m happier with the way it is, as I can prepare specifically for the pursuit and taper for that and hopefully have enough fitness from the summer road racing to see me through the time trial and road events.”



Joanna Rowsell added a European crown to the world and Olympic ones. Photo: www.PelotonPhotos.com

Despite still being on the road to recovery from a broken collarbone sustained in a crash in the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix at the start of August, Rowsell is clearly still feeling strong. Having helped her GB team pursuit teammates to a World Record during the early rounds in the European Championship she was then rotated out of the line-up for the final where the quartet again went quicker, but will be back in action next weekend in Manchester as the track season really ramps up.

VeloUK will be following the fortunes of the British team and others this weekend in Manchester.




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