Sutton’s Joanna Rowsell-Shand helps Team GB land team pursuit world record at Rio 2016

Sutton-based cyclist Joanna Rowsell-Shand, alongside teammates Katie Archibald, Laura Trott and Elinor Barker, delivered a world record time in the women’s team pursuit qualifying overnight in Rio.

They recorded a stunning time of 4:13.260, smashing the previous record by more than a second, and allaying fears that a ‘slow track’ in the Rio velodrome would hold back times.

Rowsell-Shand — who won gold at London 2012 and also has World, European and Commonwealth titles under her belt — will be delighted with the start that she and the team have made in their quest for more Olympic glory.

Team GB were more than a second clear of second-placed USA, who are the only realistic threat to GB’s hopes of reclaiming the title.

Earlier this year, Archibald sustained severe injuries in a motorcycle accident that heavily disrupted the team’s preparations, and, along with a chaotic World Championship, Great Britain’s lead up to Rio wasn’t ideal, which makes their start all the more impressive.

The Brits will be overwhelming favourites when they face Poland in Saturday’s in heat, and require one of the fastest two winning times to progress to the Gold Medal Race.

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