Fan Zone

I love hearing from you all, so please feel free to drop me a line about anything! 




154 Responses to Fan Zone

  1. Grant Dunlop says:

    Hi there Joanna, big longtime fan here in New Zealand your an incredible and talented athlete, lovely person and a wonderful role model. Thank you for all the joy and inspiration you give and all the best.


  2. Mark Denby says:

    Hello Jo,
    I would like to say a thank you to you for 2012. I know it is a bit late but I have been in a dark place. In may 2012 my wife was told on her 29th birthday she had cancer. It was a tough time. London 2012 was perfect timing. It lifted my Marisa’s spirits. You also helped her with her confidence in a problem brought about by chemo. Unfortunately Marisa’s battle ended in December 2013.
    I will be riding Lands End to Jon O’Groats via Newcastle and the Great North Run in September for Cancer Research. I hope you can offer words of support. A facebook page LeNutJog will be up soon covering this nut job and his challenge.
    Thanks so much for making us both so proud.
    Mark Denby

    • Joanna says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you very much for your message. I’d like to wish you lots of luck for your Lands End to John O’Groats challenge. I’m sure you’ll do great. I hope the training is going well.


  3. Max Williams says:


  4. Steve Light says:

    Jo, you are a joy to behold. Glasgow, you were outstanding. x

  5. Brian says:

    A joy to see you complete your set of gold – Well done bonnie girl.

  6. Matty says:

    Hi Jo,
    Such a shame you were ill for the womens tour. I started road cycling last september and it is so addictive but wow seeing the professionals on stage 3 Felixstowe to Clacton was something else, you are all amazing and as a cyclist i can only begin to imagine how tough it is.
    Well done to all of you.

  7. jane wilcock says:

    sorry to read you’re not competing in the inaugral womens tour. looking forward to watching you at Glasgow thoughxxx

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi Joanna,
    I don’t really follow cycling (or most sports) all that much, but the main reason why I came to your site was to thank you for being so inspiring when you accepted your medal at the Olympics in 2012. I had never heard of Alopecia before, but now thanks to you, I am growing my hair longer so it can be made into a wig for someone who really needs it. I am hoping my hair will be long enough by Christmas before I get it cut.
    I wish you the best for all your future rides.

  9. Denis Thompson says:

    Good ride in the north lancs 10 today Jo i found it very hard you made it look easy.

  10. Dom franzmann says:


    Many thanks for taking the time out yesterday to show us the training route and allowing us to join you on the ride. It was extra special for all of us that you stayed around at the end for a chat and giving all an insight into the world of both track and road cycling.

    A very special day for all involved

    Dom, Breda, Micky, Ruth and Liz

  11. Simon Marsh says:

    I wanted to tell you what an inspiration you are to me, despite being a middle-aged man (still a cyclist though!) for both your cycling and the way you have dealt with alopecia (which I was told I had in my early teens). It must be harder for a woman to deal with this than for a man, especially as I am now 45 and it’s easier to just clip your hair short and go “un-noticed” for want of a better word. You set an incredibly positive example in both your cycling and the way you deal with and accept / confront the alopecia too.
    I wish you well for your career and happiness and success in everything you do.

  12. Brian Lynn says:

    Hi Joanna
    First, many congratulations on the double Gold at the worlds. I saw this comment today and made me think it suited you.
    ‘Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.’


  13. andy says:

    Good afternoon Jo

    I would be grateful if you could advise me, which is more important 1 Olympic gold medal or 5 world Champion titles.



  14. David Graham says:

    Congratulations on your victorious double gold world championship wins from Action Medical Research. You are an inspiration to us and all our cycling fans. See you soon x

  15. Ian McKenney says:

    2 World titles in one week, brilliant work Jo. If we ever meet coffee & doughnuts are on me!!!

  16. Jude Moryoussef says:

    Hi Jo,

    My friends have just bought me a ride with you for my birthday that they auctioned for at a charity event! The best pressie by far! It’s on March 9th which doesn’t give me much time to train so panicking that I won’t be able to keep up!! Really looking forward to it and meeting you – any advice for an old novice (double your age!). I currently spin couple times a week and have a cyclops indoor bike at home which I aim to get some hours in!
    I’m hoping its with like minded people who fancy a challenge and a fun ride alongside a very inspirational woman.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Joanna says:

      Hi! Don’t worry it won’t be too hard as it will be my first training ride after a break post Track Worlds so nice and steady! There are a few hills though so may be challenging but should be some good scenery :) Just try and get some good consistent riding done and gradually build up the hours if you can.
      Joanna x

      • Jude Moryoussef says:

        Congratulations!! So excited for you!
        Just done your bury training ride that we doing next Sunday in the rain, wind and hail! Looking forward to meeting you and doing with you!! Any tips appreciated – got a bit lost but feel relieved can do it – hoping you might be a bit tired after the last few weeks!!!

        • Jude Moryoussef says:

          Wow! Just done charity bike ride with you and feel fantastic! Thanks for all your tips too! Pleasure meeting you – you’re gorgeous! Get yourself your medal cabinet as I know you will be filling up!
          Thanks again
          Jude x

          • Jude Moryoussef says:

            Ruptured my ACL skiing – gutted as had really got into road biking now have to build up again slow (need op in may!). Any tips or training rides on a static bike would be very welcome as that’s all able to do at the mo!

  17. Theresea Anne says:

    I think you are insanely amazing! You should come to Louisiana sometime! Lots of love!

  18. colin whitehouse says:

    hi jo just been watching the cycling i think you where just awesome.keep it up sweetie.

  19. Alice Banfield says:

    Hi Joanna,
    I am really happy because I only just found out that you went to Nonsuch, the same school I go to! I’m in year 7!

  20. Matthew Rowsell says:

    Hi Joanna.
    Glad to hear your collerbone is getting better and that your back racing even if it is earlier that expected. The girls have been asking about you recently so hopefully we can meet up again soon. Send our regards to your mum, dad and erick. Hopefully I’ll hear from you soon.

  21. Erica says:

    Hi Joanna,

    I love your hair in the photo of you receiving the Freedom of London in March. I’m not due new hair for another 6 months but was wondering if you could let me know what style etc you were wearing then? Might try see if I can get it if it comes in my colour!

    Hope the collarbone is healing well.


  22. tricky says:

    Good luck with your recovery. I broke mine a few days ago in a race and due for op next week. Been useful to read your blog on your journey back.

  23. cheryl perry says:

    Hi Joanna,
    Hope you are feeling better, my daughter wanted to send you a get well card and letter. If we send it to British cycling in Manchester will they pass it on to you or is there another address that we should use. Kind regards

  24. Nellie says:

    Hi Joanna, I just wanted to know if you’re feeling ok? I was at Prudential RideLondon at the finish line. I only found out YOU were one of them that crashed the night after!
    I can imagine what you were feeling like and I really hope you’ll be up and cycling soon!
    P.S I’m a big fan and I’m only 10 :)

  25. Chris Ellison says:

    Hi Jo,

    Hope you get back to normal without too much disruption. I too have had the same injury and now it seems so long ago (it’s not though), so sure you’ll be back to winning very, very soon. Take care, we’ll miss you at the Brad ride this weekend

    love, Chris (Yorkshire Dales)

    • Joanna says:

      Thank you.

      I am still planning on coming up to the Brad ride tomorrow to say hi to everyone around lunchtime assuming I am feeling ok :)


      • Chris Ellison says:

        Hope you’re able to increase the time on the turbo a bit now. Everyone still thinking about you!

        Did your surgeon have the initials C.R.?


  26. Richard says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Really sorry to hear that you’ve broken your collarbone. Unfortunately I’ve done exactly the same and had a plate fitted on Tuesday. I’d love to know what your recovery plan is as I’m getting really mixed messages from the surgeon, doctors, physios etc This was a comeback year for me and although you beat me in a time trial earlier this year I had hoped to get a lot nearer by the end of the season! Any advice would be very welcome. Hope you make a very speedy recovery!! ATB Richard

    • Joanna says:

      I am going to add some video diaries of my recovery.

      I have been given some basic rehab exercises to do, mainly to keep the range of movement. But I have been told to keep my arm supported at all times either in the sling or on a cushion.

      Hoping to be on the Wattbike next week.

      The main thing they said to me was to go on feel and don’t push myself too hard too soon.


      • Richard says:

        Keeping the arm supported seems to be the key thing I’m hearing. Going on how it ‘feels’ also seems positive advice so I’m going to try the turbo at the weekend with just my good arm on the bars. The physio told me that a static bike should be ok but not to come back if I fell off!

        I’ll look forward to the video diaries.

        Many thanks for the feedback.


        • David Taylor says:

          Fascinating, three different experiences of recovery from the same injury/surgery. I received excellent care during the operation and the day I spent in hospital, but no follow-up other than being told to keep my arm in a sling (initially for 4 weeks, but now the surgeon says 6!).
          I removed the sling after 2 weeks purely because the pain from the atrophied shoulder joint was worse than the original clavicle injury.

          My first physio appointment is due 6 weeks after surgery, which seems a long time but I suspect the surgeon took into account the fact I could freely move the upper arm to parallel with the ground with little discomfort at the 2 week stage.

          I do have one question, were you told when you could drive?
          Rightly or wrongly I’m driving already, but I have to admit I get moderate pain in the clavicle afterwards and particularly the following night and morning.

          • Joanna says:

            My surgeon said it would probably be about 3 weeks before I can drive, but again going on feel is most important.

          • Richard says:

            Day 5 since I had the plate fitted and I’ve now been on the turbo twice with no ill effects – I got a second sling from the hospital that I’m keeping just for these sessions and I’m also using bibshorts with just the strap on my good shoulder inside which I’m tucking the bad arm. This is contrary to what the surgeon told me (‘no riding for 4 weeks’) but in line with the physio’s advice and more importantly it feels ok. The exercise has made me much more mentally positive and I’m sure the increased blood flow will speed up recovery time. At this rate I should be able to drive in a couple of weeks – no advice received on this. The secret for me has been to go with the ‘feel’. Nothing hurts while I’m on the bike so I can’t see how its doing any damage. Keep positive Jo – I think recovery time for a fit athlete is probably half that of the armchair brigade!


          • David Taylor says:

            Richard, are you getting private treatment, or NHS?

            I sold my turbo trainer months ago because I just wasn’t get any use out of it, I really am not cut out for sitting pedaling indoors without the stimulation of fresh air and scenery to enjoy.

            It’s four weeks tomorrow since my operation, and the mental and physical lethargy is really starting to kick in. I’ve been walking between 5-10 miles a day purely to keep my body ticking over but obviously when you’re fit, walking doesn’t give any kind of cardiovascular workout but if nothing else it burns a few calories. I’m around half a stone heavier already, and climbing LOL

          • Richard says:

            Hi David,

            All the treatment has been with the NHS. I had the op almost 3 weeks after the accident due to appointment delays etc and the only advice I had was from the physio before they discharged me. The most useful advice, in my experience, was that given to Jo to ‘go by feel’. I’ve got a very old turbo as like you I just get bored sitting going nowhere and its languished in the garage for almost 20 years. However, it’s given me a really positive boost so if you can borrow one I’d really recommend it. Like you, even after just a few weeks off the bike I could feel the waistline expanding and walking is actually quite painful. I’m using my road bike fitted with Profile T2 aero bars with the front wheel raised a few inches higher than the back. This way I can rest my good arm on the forearm rest whilst still sitting comfortably – gripping with just my one good hand is quite tiring and twists my shoulders. 30-40 min sessions seem optimal at the moment but I hope to be up to an hour by next weekend – I mix it up with steady cadence and 5 min intensity sessions. Hope that’s useful feedback.


          • David Taylor says:

            thanks for that Richard, and first of all I’ll admit, 40 minutes was probably the most I’ve ever managed indoors on the turbo 😉

            At the 2 week stage I was walking way too much, but mental frustration forced me into it. It caused me considerable pain as well but at the time I was still taking paracetomol and ibuprofen. It’s 4 weeks tomorrow since the op and I’m not taking any painkillers at all now.
            There was a part of me that disliked taking so much medication and the effect it might be having on my body but I think it was a necessary evil.

  27. Sean Missin says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Sorry to hear about your collarbone, Tanya (my girlfriend) had multiple fractures to her radial head when she flew off her bike in may. We therefore appreciate how uncomfortable this must be and what a dissappointment it is. Keeping positive has been Tanya’s best treatment.

    We wish you all the very best and a speedy recovery.

    All our best

    Sean and Tanya

    • Joanna says:

      Thank you very much. Yes it is very frustrating but you’re right staying positive is very important.

      Thanks for your message, I love reading through these.


  28. Mike F says:

    Jo, until the end of July I used to work in an SEN school with a mix of girls and boys. You were their hero for lots of reasons, not VP or LT. Just watched your recorded Cycle Show. A bit of a jinx after coming back! Good luck after the op and into recovery. All best wishes, Mike

  29. Simon says:

    Get well soon Jo!

    Sorry to hear about the break, but you will soon heal. Stick at it as the whole country is proud of you!


  30. Jamie Redmile says:


    Hope the injury is not too painful and you’ll soon be back on the bike.

    Listening to your interview at the cycling show and your aspirations for the future would you be able to offer tips on improving performance? My goal is to climb quicker, any tips greatfully received.

    Also thank you for the brief chat and photo with my daughters who have now expressed interest in road cycling:)

    • Joanna says:

      Climbing is about power to weight ratio so you need to train yourself to be able to put out more power for the duration of the climb so lactate threshold training will help with this. I have also found I climb a lot more efficiently when seated and spinning a smaller gear. When training in places like Majorca up long climbs I have a cassette which goes up to a 27 which allows me to spin up the climbs.

      Hope this helps,

      • says:

        Hi Joanna,
        I hope the recovery is going well and I look forward to seeing you racing again and at the NEC Cycle Show. (met you last year and you were a big hit with my pro basketball playing son, Mark). I read your advice on hill climbing just before I set out on a 1007 mile ride for Cancer Research from Land’s End & John O’Groats. Thanks…It came to mind on every tough climb and my hill climbing has much improved.

  31. James Stewart says:

    Just want to wish you well Joanna for Thursday and a speedy recovery. Keep smiling x

  32. Chris Jones says:

    Jo, just wanted to wish you a swift recovery from your accident and a complete and full recovery.

  33. David Taylor says:

    I broke my own clavicle three weeks today Joanna so I know exactly how you must be feeling right now and I send my sincere sympathies. I had internal fixation surgery three days after I fell off the bike and the pain becomes a lot more bearable once that plate is holding the bones in place.

    I’m not a competitive cyclist by any means but I do ride regularly and the enforced inactivity and time off the bike is harder to endure than the pain!

    With the best possible after-care I’m sure you’ll be on the turbo trainer in a week or two and back on the bike in no time.

    Slightly off topic but Jorge Lorenzo shattered his clavicle around a month ago in practice at the Assen Moto GP, underwent the same surgery as I did and RACED two days later. Unbelievable, he is either as hard as nails, clinically insane or he has access to much better painkillers than the paracetomol/ibuprofen I received!

    • Joanna says:

      Thank you. Glad to hear it will be more bearable once the plate is in.


      • David Taylor says:

        I found out today from the consultant I’ll be off work potentially 10 weeks with my job being very heavy physically :-(
        The fracture is healing nicely though, thankfully.

        I hope you receive better news when the time comes Joanna!

        • Joanna says:

          Enjoy the time off and glad to hear it is healing well.

          • David Taylor says:

            just gone 6 weeks since the op and I’m back riding the bike :-)

            My first physio appointment isn’t until Friday the 30th of August but as I can ride without much pain I figured, why not get back on two wheels?
            The fact that I was on the verge of madness after 6 weeks without any form of physical exertion played a major part in the decision, I have to admit!

            I hope you’re recovering well, Joanna 😀

  34. Alan Smith says:

    Hello Joanna,
    We felt for you yesterday; that really hurt we’re sure. We hope you’re not too sore today and good luck getting your collar bone fixed. We were looking forward to your commentary today – always good and hope to see you riding again soon.
    Best wishes
    Alan and Elsa

  35. Richard Zaruba says:

    Dear Mrs.Joanna Rowsell
    I am a big fan of you and therefore I would be very happy if you send me 1 or 2 hand signed pictures of you. I would be very pleased when my desire to meet. Thank you in advance for your kindness. Success may always be on your side.

    Richard Zaruba
    Pionyru 519
    267 62 Komarov
    Czech Republic

    Thank you !!

  36. Jo says:

    Hi Jo,
    Thank you for riding with the kids on the parade lap in Guildford town center last night. My kids loved it!

  37. Andy Schendel says:

    Hi Joanna

    You recently replied to 5 questions for our free sports and activities directory soon to be released in Sutton.

    Many thanks and we will send you a copy when complete


    Andy Schendel

  38. Take care Joanna
    Sorry to hear you have been knocked off your bike.
    Recover physically and mentally
    I have only been knocked off twice, but that is two times to many
    Mark Kleanthous
    Cyclist and Triathlete
    175,000 miles of cycling during the last 30 years.

  39. Pete Tomkins says:

    Hi Joanna
    Gayle has just emailed me a pic of you with your MBE. A fantastic, well-earned honour.
    All the best for 2013
    Pete T

  40. Alan Smith says:

    Hi again Joanna,
    Elsa and I really enjoyed your commentary again this weekend-informative and interesting, we hope you continue with this. However we’re looking forward to seeing you riding again as well what news?

  41. maddie says:

    im at joanna’s old school (nonsuch). Everyone here loves you! go jo! :):):)

  42. Kinza says:

    Congratulations for all the awards! This website looks absolutely wonderful!
    Just so you know I go to Nonsuch and was there on the front row when you came to visit us and it was absolutely tremendous! It feels like a celebrity went to our school! I am in 9 Mercury and I know you were in Pluto!
    I’m writing an article for the BBC News School Report for Nonsuch, and I have been appointed to write about when you came to Nonsuch! I would love to hear your personal experience so I could include it in my article!
    Love to hear from you,

  43. Nigel Wright says:

    First of all congratulations on your magical performances last year. I appreciate that you must be an extremely busy woman, but I wondered if you would consider visiting Bohunt School to talk to our students. I really think you would be such an inspiration, particularly to our girls. Any time would be greatly appreciated.


  44. Sasha Jenner says:

    A huge congratulations Joanna on your MBE. Well deserved not only for your cycling achievements but in everything you do. You came to see us in “The Point” cafe in Cheam and it meant alot to the guys. Again congratulations and enjoy. Best wishes. Sasha

  45. Ian says:

    Joanna Rowsell MBE, Congratulations to you Danni and Laura on your Honours. Richly deserved.



  46. Bicistore says:

    Congratulations Joanna, we follow on twitter from Spain. Greetings @Bicistore

  47. Mick says:

    Hey Jo,

    You’ve inspired my sister to take up cycling again after many, many years. She’s in New Zealand, it’s her birthday soon, and she’s asked for a red Team GB cycle helmet. You might have the right contacts, or know where to go, so please could you point me in the right direction? It would be great if you could help, thank you very much.

    I didn’t realise you trained around Box Hill, so I’ll be looking out for you next time I’m puffing and panting on my way up 😉

    With very best wishes,

    Mick x

  48. Lynette says:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration!!! My son has just turned 12 and got alopecia just before moving to secondary school just as he began to get a bit down with it all seeing you being so brave really helped pull him through! We researched your story and he has such a different attitude about it now. I am so proud of him for being so grown up about it and cant thank you enough for being so open about it!!

    Kind regards

  49. Chris Curtis says:

    Hi Jo,

    Was great to meet you at the NEC nearly 2 weeks ago, and even better to get my photo taken along with you and receiving your autograph. The inspiration from yourself and Team Sky in the Olympics just topped off my Summer as I was already motivated during Wiggo’s successive stages of the Tour de France. As a new road cyclist, I want to capitalise on it and use this as building blocks to improve my own fitness whilst doing something that I am thoroughly enjoying getting into. All the best for Rio 2014.


  50. Liu says:

    Dear Rowsell,

    I think that I can help alopecia condition. if you are interested, please have a look my website:

    Thank you.

    Yours faithfully
    chinese Dr. Liu

  51. Isabel says:

    Hi Joanna,
    I am in year 4 at school and I have been given homework to research a Great British Olympian and I have decided to base it on you. I thought that your story would be interesting. Could you tell me what you were like as a child and what your best memory from London 2012 is.
    I am looking forward to researching you.
    Isabel. x

  52. Alan Smith says:

    Sadly I didn’t get to meet you at Birmingham but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your commentaries as well as the cycling. Good luck for next season. Alan

  53. victoria says:

    Hi joanna ,
    Just writing to say i was inspired by your performance in the olympics . I have read that you live in manchester and was wondering if you could come to talk about yourself. My school in manchester is very keen on sport and has many aspiring athletes , so i know you would be inspirational to listen to for all the students and myself. I would be delighted to hear from you and i understand you are very busy so probably will be unable to come .
    thank you,
    Victoria xxx

  54. Viki Bell says:

    just to say you are a huge inspiration – i too have total alopecia (for about the last 10 years or so) and on and off since i was a kid – i took up running last year and completed by first half marathon age 43 !!! now very into running and cycling (and have to say leaving your hair in the locker at the gym is easier isnt it) lol – well done fantastic to see you on that podium x

    • Frank Göbel says:


      I’m a great fan of sports from germany.

      I would be therefore very happy, if you could send me some handwritten pictures of you.

      I would be very pleased if you could fulfil my wishes.

      Many thanks in advance for your kindness.

      I wish you all the best for the future.

      Your sincerly

      Frank Göbel

      Ogrosener Dorfstrasse 22 b

      03226 Vetschau


  55. Em says:

    A bit late but congratulations to you and the pursuit women – absolutely amazing. You’re a massive inspiration. Also fabulous and composed on Ch4 Para cycling, such a great spokeswomen for track cycling. Best of luck for the World’s.

  56. Lisa says:

    Well done, loved watching you and the girls at the Velodrome and really enjoyed your punditry on Channel 4 during the Paras.

  57. Jack says:

    Dear Joanna,
    It was such a pleasure meeting you today at the Herne Hill velodrome and thank you so much for taking the time to sign an autograph for my daughter and posing for such a wonderful photo we now have of her with you and The Medal! It meant a lot.
    Watching you win the team pursuit and smashing the world record that day back in August was absolutely tremendous and you all looked so radiantly happy on the podium collecting your medals. It was a very proud moment for Team GB.
    We, as a lot of people, I think, have ‘discovered’ track cycling through these Olypmics. Thank you for being such an inspirational athlete, for both younger and older generations alike!

  58. Hannah Wright says:

    Hi Jo,
    Congratulations to you and all the Team GB athletes. You are all such inspirations.
    I’m currently training to be a primary school teacher and was wondering if you have any tips as to how to get children more involved in PE. I have a history in sport and have played throughout school, college and uni, so I am passionate to help get children involved.


    Hannah x

  59. Megan says:

    Dear Joanna,
    I am writing to congratulate you on your gold medal and world record at the London 2012 Olympics- watching win your medal on TV has really inspired me to do more sport at home! I have read that you used to attend Nonsuch High School for girls, which is where I’m starting in Year seven this September.
    I was wondering if you would consider coming into the school at some time, as it would be amazing to meet you in person plus see your gold medal. I recently went to a debate on Radio 5 Live about the Olympic legacy, and also at the debate were three Olympic rowing medallists ( Alex Gregory, Mark Hunter and Greg Searle)! It was really brilliant to meet the athletes and I would love to have another experience like that. I understand you would be very busy at the moment, but everyone at Nonsuch would be very grateful if you came.
    Best wishes,
    Megan Yeomans.

  60. Fiona says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Just a note to say WELL DONE on your Olympic success and your excellent contribution to the Paralympics coverage too. I’ve so much enjoyed hearing what you’ve got to say about cycling over the last few days. You’re gorgeous, talented and inspirational and deserve all the confidence in the world. Thank you for being such an excellent role model xxx

  61. Scott says:

    Hi Joanna

    I watched you at the Olympics (Big well done!) and have just seen you on T.V. covering the cycling on C4…..Have to say…Your are amazingly beautiful and an inspiration to many!

  62. Sylvia says:

    Hello Joanna

    I will be 65 next month although I, of course, don’t look it!!

    Anyway I live in Worcester Park and yesterday my husband, our dog and I visited your gold postbox in Cheam Village and had our photos taken with it.

    Thank you and all the GB team who made the 2012 Olympics so memorable.

  63. Richard says:

    I watched a lot of the Olympics coverage and your win was the most inspirational. I admire the courage to do what you did. I myself have lost my hair in the past when I had chemotherapy at the end of last year, for me it wasn’t such a bad thing, if anything it made life easier. I saved a fair bit on hair cuts. :) We are who we are, what does appearance matter when you take the real things in life in to perspective! Congratulations on winning the gold, and keep smiling. 😀

  64. Ola says:

    Dear Joanna

    Well done for your efforts at the Olympics and highlighting alopecia. You are an inspiration to so many and I wish I had your courage. I wish you every success in the future. I hope you are having a well earned rest.

  65. Nina says:

    Hi Jo
    My hair started to fall out when I was 11, I then had many patches for 25 years and when I was 28 it all fell out. It all came back a year later just for the cycle to repeat itself. I have worn a wig all the time now for 19 years and it doesn`t stop me doing anything. ( I`m 58) I think you are absolutely inspirational and I wish you continued success in your amazing career. If you are ever in the Oxford area and would like to chat please contact me.

  66. Kate D. says:

    Congratulations on your gold medal! You are an inspiration – not only to all of us with alopecia, but to every female who thinks they are not strong enough, pretty enough or smart enough to be the best they can be. You have shown the world that you are not defined by your alopecia – you are an incredible athlete who just happens to have alopecia. It’s a disease we HAVE – it is not WHO we are. From one bald lady to another – you rock! I hope you continue to cycle, win medals and inspire us for many more years.

  67. Joanna says:

    Hey everyone! Thank you for your messages on here :) x

  68. Grace says:

    I know that you probably won’t see this but I wanted to let you know that I saw you race and noticed your alopecia and proceeded to google you to check whether it was. I then read a bbc article about your successes and your alopecia. I also suffer from alopecia areata I was so shocked to find that I also started to lose my hair at 10 and my hair is also auburn how weird! I am now 15 and have found you inspirational because I have lost all of my self confidence and didn’t know what to do so now I’m going to commit to my studies work as hard as I can and also see whether I can find a hobby for myself. If you see this out would mean great deal for you to contact me on twitter which is @lacegrennox. All I can say is thank you so much and I wish you the greatest of luck for the future and thank you again :)

  69. Laura K says:

    Hi Joanna

    I would have been moved to tears by your win anyway, but as a hair loss sufferer myself (albeit not Alopecia), I was doubly elated at your triumph – a true highlight of the Olympics, and on International Alopecia Day too!

    Well done gal!

    In my own case I have no excuses for not taking up a sport as I have found a solution to my hair loss. I googled and googled, visited endless treatment centres and salons and eventually found a salon offering Hollywood-quality bonded hair systems made of natural hair which allow me to swim, sleep, shower, run etc and treat it almost exactly as my own hair (except for a monthly salon visit to have it refreshed and re-bonded to my head and the fact it takes a few minutes longer to wash and dry than my natural hair used to). It has truly given me my life back (I did not have your nerve for defying it and used to stay indoors as much as possible wrestling with eyebrow pencils and camoflage powders to disguise). Nowadays only my closest friends know I ever had a hair loss problem and that is only because I confided in them when I was despairing, not because they can tell the difference between my system and my real genetic hair. I now write for the company blog in return for discounts on my salon visits.

    The owner of the salon Andy Pollard has said if I write to you that he would be delighted to offer you a free real hair system to try yourself, so please contact him at if you would like to take him up on his offer. There is no catch other than he hopes you will tell others if it changes your life too!

    I know what you’re thinking and no it doesn’t interfere with your own hair growing back should it decide to, or any medical or alternative treatment you may be trying.

    All the best,

    Laura K x
    PS: Hair or no hair, you are a gorgeous young woman and I am delighted you have a partner who thinks so too. That makes all the difference. I met my soulmate when I still had hair problems, but while he would have still loved me just as much either way, he is glad I did something about it for my own sake as he knew how much my hair loss was affecting me. Plus he knows exactly what he’s going to do if he starts losing his own!

  70. Meryl Goodrum says:

    Many congratualtions on your wonderful Olympic success. You are brave, beautiful and brilliant – not a bad combination!!!!!!

  71. Graham Moulds says:

    My i congratulate you in win wining the Gold medal at the Olympic games. And I hope you have more success
    in the future.

  72. Jacqueline says:

    I’m writing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to thank you for your bravery at collecting your gold medal without wearing your wig. My 7 year old nephew has alopecia and lost all his hair this year. He is a sweet, shy boy and it’s people like you who can change the entire course of someone’s life by making a choice like you did. Thank you again for showing him that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to … and CONGRATULATIONS!!! :)

  73. Samuel Patterson - Phoenix, AZ U.S.A. says:

    First I would like to congratulate you on your gold medal…you must be very proud and there are tons of people out there that are very excited for you…congratulations!!

    You are a beautiful woman with or without your wig, but I wanted to thank you for being vulnerable enough to not wear the wig 24×7 and using the Olympic stage to discuss alopecia. That takes a lot of bravery and I applaud you for it. My alopecia came about 5 years aog and even being a male it was very difficult for me to deal with, but seeing your accomplishments and pride in who you are really is inspiring.

    I wish you all the best of luck and again I thank you for bringing attention to this disease on such a global stage.

  74. Bronson says:

    hey jo What an amazing performance you truly are a legend

  75. Elaine says:

    Joanna, Your performances were amazing. You were amazing. You and your colleagues have inspired and captivated a nation. Remember the noise of the velodrome then imagine the noise of all the people screaming support at their TV sets, radios and computers added to it. You did that!

  76. anna puddick says:

    Hi Jo,

    To echo many of the comments on the board above I think you are truely inspirational and would like to send huge congratulations on your gold medal. We were jumping up and down routing for you from just down the road in Surrey. I am so proud to be English this week!

    Having also suffered from Alopecia Areata I can sympathise with you wholeheartedly. I did not loose all of my hair but did loose most of my crown for almost two years. I underwent Light treatment therapy which is ordinarily used for treatment of skin conditions but my doctor put me forward for a course of it. It was given a 17% success rate and after a 3 month stint my hair began to grow back. Touching wood it has been fully regrown for over two years. Just wanted to let you know that there is a treatment that can work.

    Congratulations again.


  77. Hanna G says:

    Honestly I’m not really a cycling fan but I follow what is happening at the Olympic games and when I saw your photos taken after the race I had tears in my eyes. I have alopecia universalis – ill for 13 years. It’s really difficult for me to go outside, even with a hat, but seeing you gave me confidence even though I live in Poland where alopecia is still not known widely. You are an inspiration! It might have not been something big for you but I believe it was a HUGE moment for all people suffering from all types of alopecia. As a kid I dreamt of walking freely with my head bald without embarrassment and your bold performance awakened this dream again :)

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

  78. Jairo Evandro Marques says:

    My Warrior,

    Thank you for your courage inspirational.

    Best regards,
    Jairo Evandro Marques.
    São Paulo – Brazil.

  79. Anne Jordan says:

    Joanne, Just read about you in the Australian papers. Congratulations on your fabulous success in the Olympi cs and also in life. I wanted to write because I too suffered from alopecia areata when I was 13. Decided a bit like you not to let it get me down and went swimming, played sport skied and generally just got on with life. In the days of big hair through eighties it was tough and it often hurt deep down – not that I let it show.
    Of course one does the round of medicos, diets etc without result. Unbelievably my hair grew back of its own accord at 42 and has remained strong and lustrous since. In all of that I truly believe it was hormonally related.

    However this is not about me – keep living strong you beautiful girl! Fortunately Sinead O’Connor has made the smooth head fashionable – wear your beauty proudly and may all good things come to you.


    Anne Jordan

  80. Christian says:

    I never imagined doing it, but something about you caught my attention. I’d love to know you better. Write to me? Kiss.

  81. christine holding says:

    who you are, being an athlete, cyclist and a gold medal winner in your chosen event says who you are, well done x

  82. Paul says:

    You’ll have to change all the pictures here :)

    Get rid of the wigs!
    You are
    Joanna Roswell first
    A Gold Medal Olympian second
    and beautiful irrespective.

  83. Mike Criswell says:

    I have had alopecia since I wa eight years old. It took me years to stop wearing hats every day. It is inspiring to see you achieve the things that you have. YoU truly are a beautiful woman.

  84. Tubby says:

    A true inspiration./Give me hope Joanna. “Eddie Grant”.Congratulations on your achievements and even more for inspiring all the alopecia challengers! Thank you so much from here in stellenbosch!

  85. Timothy says:

    Great world record effort. I know how hard it must be.
    My wife suffered from alopecia at nine and again at 30 severe hair loss.
    It turns out, it was a gluten allergy. She had no other symptoms either and felt fine.
    Three months of gluten free and her hair has come back.
    I train track and time trial and also am gluten free.
    No doctor ever told her to try it.
    We only learned from others online.
    Maybe some can also try it.

  86. James Nomura-Harrington says:

    You are an inspiration indeed. You are smart, strong, and beautiful. I hope you continue to do well and achieve all of your dreams!


  87. Annie says:

    Truly inspirational – well done! How many more extra bikes out this Sunday morning? I guess, quite a few!

  88. Amy says:

    Joanna, congratulations on an amazing achievement in winning gold yesterday. It was a fantastic sporting performance and also an immense personal one. Your courage is truly an inspiration, thank you for being out there and helping others believe.

  89. Paul says:

    Dear Jo, had tears of joy for you/the team’s stunning performance in the Team Pursuit. What an absolutely incredible world-record-breaking start you gave the team. Again! You are a superstar. I cannot begin to imagine the years of work behind such a phenomenal performance. Well done. Enjoy it all.

  90. David Lawton says:

    Looking forward to putting my post in Cheam’s new GOLD postbox. Congratulations on a fantastic performance.

  91. Steve says:

    Jo, awesome, quite simply, awesome.

  92. John H says:

    Joanna, from an Aussie oldie > many congratulations. Keep your chin up girl. Well done.

  93. Cinq says:

    Incredibly well done, a new hero in my books, respect in so many levels.
    Enjoy , enjoy, enjoy , have a day off , and then enjoy again.
    B :/)

  94. Kat in Dallas says:

    Congratulations on your gold! What an amazing achievement! I have AU and wanted to tell you what an inspiration you are to me and millions of others with alopecia. You are such a beautiful girl and I wish you future success and happiness!

  95. paul jackson says:

    Great ride great team well done so proud to be british COME ON GB

  96. Phil Harrison says:

    Superb performance! Congratulations to you and your team. Quite beautiful to behold! Gold really suits you!

  97. Paul says:

    Joanna, what a hero you are. If had a fraction of your courage, I could conquer the world. CONGRATULATIONS X

  98. Bill bateson says:

    Brilliant ride tonight.
    You are an absolute star!!

  99. mike herd says:

    WOW! 6 Consecutive world records! Just awesome, superb. All your hard work and of the whole team will go down in history. Congratulations, thouroughly deserved. Enjoy! Xxx

  100. Phil Carroll says:

    Hi Jo. Congratulations to you and all the Team GB winners today – what a day! Congratulations on your performance – Brilliant!! So proud of you. :o)

  101. Graham Hind says:

    Hi Jo. You can now add “Olympic Champion” to your website. A truly spectacular performance by you and the girls with a thoroughly deserved medal. You now have your picture on a stamp and somewhere there will be a golden postbox in your honour. You are an inspiration and the country is proud of you. Go Jo.

  102. Megan says:

    You’re a gold medal inspiration to all those with Alopecia Totalis. You make me want to believe in myself again and stand strong bald and bold. Your race brought tears to my eyes. I was pulling for Great Britain to win gold in this event even if I’m American. Thanks for sharing your story about alopecia with the world. One day we’ll all stand bald and proud in our own golden moments.:)

  103. Cathryn says:

    Brilliant Olympic performance! Well done to you and the rest of your team. SO so pleased for you all!

  104. AJ says:

    Absolutely inspirational performance this evening, absolutely marvellous!!

  105. Catherine Black says:

    Not in the habit of contacting old girls of Nonsuch but couldn,t let your amazing Olympic Gold go past without telling you how wonderful it was to watch and how proud I am when I tell people that I knew you.Thank you so much Joanna for all the joy you and your team have brought to Britain. It was also fantastic to watch my first hero Paul Macartney sing Hey Jude for you all Well done again Catherine Black

  106. devon lin says:

    I’ve just watched ur gold team race :-) awesome, wat an inspiration! I have psoriasis and have struggled at times but u r inspiring! God bless u! :-) :-*

  107. Val Conroy says:

    Wishing you every success this week at London 2012, you absolutely deserve it. We have thoroughly enjoyed following your progress and are avid fans. Go for it Jo!
    Val, Niki and Emily Conroy (Cheam Ladies Swimming Club)

  108. Qi Yan says:

    Hi Joanna,I am 25 years old,I am a Chinese,I live in the city of Xi’an China。My English is not very good,Only use translation software to typing。Today I heard your name first,But I think I will always remember your name,Because you teach me what is courage。Like you, I also suffer from severe alopecia,Almost all body hair has come off,Once I thought my world collapsed,I lost the courage and confidence。But today I heard your story,I felt I did not have such a life filled with despair, it makes no sense,Thanks for everything you did,You make me feel that life can be more beautiful。By the way,you are so beautiful! I also very much like to ride a bike,I hope to get your reply,

  109. Matthew Rowsell says:

    Hi Jo. I know we havent spoken for a while but can you email me when you get a chance. I am your couson and im sure my 2 daughters would love to meet you if that would be possible.

  110. Tim Beale says:

    Hi any chance of a personally signed photo would be most appreciated many thanks Tim Beale 12 deansway Warwick Warwickshire CV34 5DG. Good luck

  111. davidwatkins says:

    hi jo a few weeks you caught my brother up on a sunday ride round box hill he was amazed you slowed and took the time to have a chat as a family we will be rooting for you come olympics best wishes from the watkins family in sutton coldfield

  112. Colin says:

    Hi Jo

    Fantastic website, we’ll be keeping an eye on all you have going on in the build up to the Olympics and beyond, it’s great to have you on board as an ambassador for CNP Professional.

    We all sat round the big TV in the boardroom recently watching and cheering you on to the Gold in the Team Pursuit, it was fantastic!

    Good luck from everyone at CNP Professional.

  113. Jo Pickard says:

    Hey Jo

    We’re loving the website! What a great year this is going to be for you

    Thanks so much for all you’ve done to help promote our charity research and cycle rides. GOOD LUCK wih the training

    from everyone at Action Medical Research

  114. Alex says:

    Hi Jo,
    Your new website looks great.
    Good luck with your preparations for the Olympics.

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