Becky James: Finding the right balance between life and cycling

Managing the competing pressures of work, training and family life is never easy. We talk to recent retiree Becky James about how happiness requires hard choices - Photos by Daniel Gould/Yuzuru Sunada/Graham Watson

Becky James.

(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Becky James stunned the cycling world in August by announcing her retirement, aged just 25. Here was one of Britain’s — one of the world’s, in fact — fastest female sprinters, a few years shy of her expected peak. A year earlier she had won silver in the keirin and sprint at the Rio Olympics.

Her hero, Sir Chris Hoy, won the last of his six Olympic medals aged 36, some 11 years older than James when she decided to hang up her racing wheels. What led James to take this bold, if surprising decision, and what can we learn from her resolve to embrace a new chapter?

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.