By Steven Robson
Britain’s most decorated Olympian has today announced his decision to retire from international cycling.
Sir Chris Hoy, 37, had a very successful 2012, after winning his fifth and sixth Olympic gold medals in the team sprint and keirin events. He also set the Olympic record in London for the 750 metres team sprint by managing a time of 42.600 seconds.
The Edinburgh-born athlete had hoped to compete for Scotland in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, but said his fitness would not allow it.
Speaking to the country’s media at Murrayfield stadium, Hoy said: “Nothing would have given me more pleasure than to have been at Glasgow 2014, but I don’t want to make up the numbers.
“It’s a hard time – one moment at the end of your career when you have to say enough is enough.”
Hoy does not believe, however, that his decision will hinder Scotland’s medal chances in Glasgow: “It’s not as if it’s a one man band. I’ve had my time in the sun, it’s time to let other athletes have their share. It will be a successful Commonwealth Games.”
Speaking of what the future might hold, the six-time Olympic Champion said that he would become an advisor to both the Scottish cycling team and the Scottish Rugby Union, as well as charity work, but quashed speculation that he may take on a great outdoor cycle route: “I’m not going to be cycling around the world.”
Asked what he thought his greatest career moment had been, he said: “To stand on the podium in Athens and to hear your name followed by Olympic Champion – that is what it is all about. But to cap it all off with my sixth gold medal – that was a special day too.”
Hoy said he would still be based in Manchester but would not rule out moving back to Edinburgh at some stage; he added: “I am going to cycle for the rest of my life, and I look forward to getting others to do that too.”
Hoy’s wife Sarra summed up the mood: “It is very emotional, but it is good to come out in the open and announce it.”