IF life was a bike race then Charline Joiner's last few years would perhaps be most comparable to a gruelling stage through the French Alps.

First came the dizzying ascent and heady moment poised on the edge of greatness, only to then be rudely unseated as the rest of the pack sped past. After tentatively dusting herself off, she embarked on a big solo attack. And now comes redemption and another shot at glory.

For Joiner, the story wasn't meant to go like that. A silver medallist in the team sprint at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she set her sights firmly on Glasgow four years later.

On return from Delhi, Dunfermline- based Joiner, 25, decided to switch from sprint to endurance events.

"It was down to the lack of a proper track in Scotland," she said. "The outdoor track in Edinburgh was always closed because of the weather, so it simply wasn't possible to compete with other athletes who had facilities five days a week."

Circumstances, she conceded, perhaps conspired against her.

"It was that bad winter of December 2010," she said. "I couldn't get out to train on the bike at all. I hated those early weeks because I was indoors looking at four walls every day."

And the malevolent cycling gods weren't done yet.

"First I broke my arm. I was on a training ride, hit a pothole and came off," she said. "Then I had to have my wisdom teeth removed, so pretty much the entire year was a write-off."

At the end of 2011, Joiner was dropped from the Scottish team. "Seeing Glasgow potentially slipping away, I was distraught," she says. "I remember thinking: 'I've just won a Commonwealth Games silver medal and now a year later they are chucking me off the team.' It felt like they had stopped believing in me. It gave me fuel to train harder."

Much of 2012 was spent alone. "I was 'advised' by Matt Winston, British Cycling's Olympic Development Programme coach," said Joiner. "He wasn't my coach but he offered advice. I asked Scottish Cycling's head coach Graeme Herd: 'What do I need to do to get back on the team?' Then I went and trained as hard as I could."

Her tenacity paid off. The British National Track Championships last September saw Joiner win two silver medals and a bronze. Most importantly, by the end of the year, she was back in the Scotland camp.

Joiner, who took up cycling at 19 after a run of injuries as a hockey player, has made her road season debut this year with MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling Team, a move aimed at helping improve her base performance on the track.

She has got off to flying start, finishing fifth in the overall standings of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series last week and currently leading the National Women's Road Race Series going into this weekend's round in Blackpool.

It is her hope that her form will continue when she competes at the British National Road Championships in Glasgow a week today. "I don't know how I'm going to do as I've still only done a handful of road races," she said. "I don't think anyone knows what is going to happen in this race because it's so wide open."

What is certain is that Joiner will not shrink from the challenge. Nor is she shy about speaking her mind. Recent days saw her take someone to task on Twitter for lamenting the "fatuous indulgence of spoiled lycrabodies disrupting the lives of people who work for a living".

She replied: "A little bit of excitement around your town for once. Embrace it. Don't hate."

Then there is the advertisement Joiner did to promote her bike sponsor, WyndyMilla, which saw her model a cycling jersey constructed entirely of body paint. While striking, it did raise some eyebrows among the cycling community. "It's been mostly positive, but there's the odd Scrooge who's said: 'You shouldn't have done that' or suggested that I'm sexualising the sport. I just shrug it off. It's my body at the end of the day. It's not scandalous. Everything that could be deemed offensive is covered.

"It was a fun day. I was working with a female make-up artist. I wore shorts, but nothing on the top. I was given a bit of tit tape and that was it. The way I saw it, I'm a canvas and she was painting me. Once I had it done, it felt like I was wearing a T-shirt."

Away from cycling, Joiner's big passion is rugby. Her older brother Craig has 25 caps for Scotland, while her boyfriend, Lee Jones, who she met at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, plays for Edinburgh and has also represented his country.

Her father Mike, 65, is a retired international triathlete and sports coach, while her French-born mother Virginie, 57, is a former translator. The Joiners, it transpires, are an active family: older sister Terry played U18 hockey for Scotland, while younger brother Jason, "probably the most talented at sport out of all of us", is a deep-sea diver working on the new Forth Road Bridge.

Joiner is frank about her ambitions to be a world beater and, frustrated at being unable to secure a place in the British team, she has toyed with switching nationalities. In early 2010, she did a stint at the French national training centre.

"They tested me and found me I had one of the highest leg speeds of all their female sprinters," she said. She was offered the chance to stay, but it was the same year as the 2010 Commonwealth Games. "I wanted to represent Scotland so I came home.

"Moving to France is still an option because I haven't represented GB. I want to compete at world level and will do what I need to achieve that. Britain is my first choice, but the standard of competition is so high that, if they can't take me, I may consider going to France again."

Joiner will return to training on the track in earnest next month building towards the British National Track Championships in September. "I want to show everyone what I can do," she says. "I'm looking forward to having a good year before the Commonwealth Games."