Cheam cyclist Joanna Rowsell thanked the crowd for spurring her onto Olympic gold yesterday.

Rowsell, along with team mates Dani King, Laura Trott won set a new world record as they clinched Olympic gold in the women’s team pursuit in the Velodrome.

Led off by Rowsell, whose job is to get them up to top speed inside a lap and a quarter, the trio opened up a decisive lead early in the 3km 12-lap race, and never looked like being caught.

The United States took silver, more than five seconds behind.

Rowsell, 23, who was a 15-year-old pupil at Nonsuch High School for Girls when a team of scouts discovered her, said: “I could tell we were winning by the noise of the crowd."

"The crowd was absolutely fantastic and they really pushed us on through the last kilometre."

In the crowd, Sir Paul McCartney, his fashion designer daughter Stella and Princess Anne were all brought to their feet cheering as the golden girls took the lead on the first lap.

And after the sensational victory Sir Paul led the crowd in a joyous rendition of Hey Jude – which he also performed in the opening ceremony for the Games.