Joanna Rowsell unhappy with British Cycling's selection policy

Joanna Rowsell won gold for England in the individual pursuit at this summer's Commonwealth Games
Joanna Rowsell won gold for England in the individual pursuit at this summer's Commonwealth Games
Road World Championships
Venue: Ponferrada, Spain. Dates: 21-28 September
BBC coverage: Live men's time trial on Red Button on 24 September; live women's road race on BBC One, BBC Two & Red Button on 27 September; live men's road race on Red Button and BBC Two on 28 September.

World and Olympic track champion Joanna Rowsell has criticised British Cycling for not entering a rider in the women's time trial at cycling's World Road Championships in Spain.

British Cycling said before the event it did not select a rider for Tuesday's race, which was won by Germany's Lisa Brennauer, because of the lack of a medal prospect.

"If every country took that attitude there would only be three girls at the start - because there are only three medals," Rowsell told BBC Radio 4.

Road World Championships schedule & results
DateEventWinner(s)
21 SeptemberWomen's team time trialSpecialized-Lululemon
21 SeptemberMen's team time trialBMC
23 SeptemberWomen's time trialLisa Brennauer
24 SeptemberMen's time trial
27 SeptemberWomen's road race
28 SeptemberMen's road race

The 25-year-old, who will compete in this week's National Track Championships, says a younger rider should have been chosen to race on the streets of Ponferrada to "gain experience".

"I think it's disappointing," said Rowsell, who won gold for England in the individual pursuit at this summer's Commonwealth Games. "British Cycling has its selection policies which it has adhered to.

"Of course the argument is the experience side of things. There could be someone who's not going to medal this year, but they could perhaps in the future."

British Cycling defended its decision, saying in a statement to BBC Sport it was "fully committed" to supporting female riders at "all levels".

It added: "Unfortunately, making difficult decisions and applying resources where there is the best chance of success is a dilemma that sport coaches worldwide have to face. Sometimes that means not fielding riders in every event.

"We are proud of our impressive record of supporting female athletes. British women won seven golds at London 2012 and eight at Beijing 2008. Since 2008, British women have won six medals at road worlds, including three golds since 2012 in junior categories."

The statement added British Cycling was on course to meet its aim of getting one million more women cycling by 2020.

Rowsell is looking forward to Saturday's women's road race, where she expects Great Britain to have a good chance of a medal.

She said: "There is a really strong women's road race team, with Lizzie Armitstead being the leader, so let's hope for a medal from Lizzie."

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