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Double Olympic champion Rowsell Shand retires

(Reuters) - Briton Joanna Rowsell Shand announced her retirement from international cycling on Tuesday, calling time on a stellar 10-year career that garnered two Olympic golds and five World Championship triumphs.

The 28-year-old track and road cyclist, who is also a four-times European champion and won the individual pursuit at the last Commonwealth Games, claimed gold in the team pursuit at the 2012 London Olympics and repeated the feat in Rio last year.

"Today I am announcing my retirement from international cycling competition," Rowsell Shand said in a statement.

"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'm now looking forward to the next phase of my life and new challenges."

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In retirement, Rowsell Shand plans to establish a cycle-coaching business.

"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," she added.

Team mate Laura Kenny, who raced alongside Rowsell Shand on both Olympic successes, offered her tribute on Instagram.

"Congratulations on such a wonderful career. I have been lucky enough to have you there when my own journey began and have loved every minute of it. Good luck in your next chapter," Kenny said.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru)