Track Cycling World Cup: Joanna Rowsell chasing gold in London

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport
Joanna Rowsell
Joanna Rowsell won team and individual pursuit gold at this year's World Championships before adding Commonwealth individual pursuit gold to her tally in the summer
UCI Track Cycling World Cup II, London
Date: 5-7 December Venue: Lee Valley VeloPark
Coverage: Friday - selected connected TVs & online 18:55-22:25 GMT, Red Button replay 23:00-02:30, Radio 5 live sports extra 19:00-22:05
Saturday - Red Button replay 09:00-11:30, live 18:55-22:10, 5 live sports extra 19:00-21:45;
Sunday - Red Button 15:55-18:45 and 5 live sports extra 17:00-18:40

Joanna Rowsell is hoping for a golden end to an impressive year at this weekend's UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London - but adds that February's World Championships are her main goal.

The London 2012 Olympic champion, 25, added two world titles and Commonwealth gold to her tally this year.

"It would be nice to get another gold medal," Rowsell told BBC Sport.

"But I'm not targeting this event as one to peak for. It's all about the World Championships in Paris."

Where's Wiggo?
Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be in action in London this weekend, instead choosing to focus on his preparations on the road, which include a tilt at the Paris-Roubaix one-day race before attempting the Hour Record on the track. Once those commitments are complete, Wiggins is expected to rejoin the track squad as he turns his attention to securing a place at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Great Britain squad's main aim at the London event, which will be shown live on the BBC Red Button, is to secure points for Rio 2016 Olympic qualification.

Rowsell missed the first World Cup of the season in Mexico last month to focus on a personal training block, which involved a two-week solo camp in Majorca.

"It was a bit lonely, but I got some good training done and I've come back fitter," she said. "My form is building nicely and London will be a good test to see where myself and the rest of the team are at."

In her absence, the women's team pursuit squad claimed gold, continuing their dominance in an event where they have won six of the last seven world titles.

Rowsell returns to the team pursuit squad alongside Olympic champion Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and recent addition Ciara Horne.

Dani King, who won gold with Rowsell and Trott in London, recently left the programme with Horne stepping up as a replacement, helping the team to win gold in Mexico.

Women's pursuit team
Laura Trott, Ciara Horne, Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts won the women's team pursuit final at the first World Cup in Mexico last month

Rowsell believes it is that strength in depth which has delivered so much success in the women's team pursuit.

"Because we have so much competition in the squad, we never ever feel complacent," she said. "It's always tough to get selection and it always will be and that internal pressure is why we win and why we have been so successful."

Rowsell added that she is excited to race on the London Velodrome for the first time since London 2012.

"It's going to be a big deal," she said. "Even though it's not the World Championships, it's going to feel like it. The noise in there is pretty phenomenal and I'm excited to experience that again."

Trott added: "I've competed at the Velodrome a couple of times since London but every time I step back inside, it always feels the same. I still get butterflies in my stomach and I hope that never goes away."

The 23-year-old is likely to add the six-race omnium, which has recently adopted a new format, to her team pursuit commitments in London, having won the event at Revolution on the same track, ahead of Dutch champion Marianne Vos, and at the Europeans in October.

"I'd like to think we can win the team pursuit," added Trott. "For the omnium, the Europeans went really well, I'm hoping to improve on my performance there and it will get me what it gets me."

Click here for the full Great Britain squad for the London World Cup.