Having been part of the GB Cycling Team for over 10 years, travelling around the world racing my bike, today I am announcing my retirement from international cycling competition. I have achieved everything I've ever wanted to in cycling including 5 World Titles, 4 European Titles, Commonwealth Gold and 2 Olympic Golds as well as countless World Cup and National Championship medals across both team and individual events. But more valuable than any of these are the special friends for life, amazing memories made, and the transformation from shy school girl to confident woman.
I have enjoyed this fabulous career and the decision to step away has been the hardest I've ever had to make, but now is the time for me to move on. I believe I have more to offer the world and I'm now looking forward to the next phase of my life and new challenges.
I want to thank the amazing team at British Cycling; from the world class team behind the team who work tirelessly to ensure we have the best preparation for events, to the very first youth coaches who talent spotted me back when I was 15. I couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you to all my team mates past and present, the cycling clubs and teams I have been a part of, my brilliant sponsors, the amazing fans for their fantastic encouragement, and to my family for their incredible support throughout my career.
I won't be stepping away from the cycling world completely and I’m enjoying doing some coaching work including setting up my own company, Rowsell Shand Coaching, and I’m also training for L'Etape du Tour in July which will be my longest bike ride ever! Being more accustomed to racing for 4km, the challenge of riding 180km in mountainous terrain will be a long way from what I am used to but I am never one for shying away from a tough target.
I want to finish by wishing the Great Britain Cycling Team the very best of luck for this Olympic cycle.