Former world Scratch Race champion Martyn Irvine retires from international competition

Martyn Irvine is stepping away from international cycling, saying it feels like a "natural end" to his career

Martyn Irvine, Track World Championships 2013, day two, evening

Martyn Irvine, the Irishman who won gold in the Scratch Race at the 2013 UCI Track World Championships, has announced that he is to retire from international competition.

Irvine, 30, wrote in a blog post that he isn't stopping cycling, but he's "just stopping putting cycling first in my life".

He took gold in the Scratch Race in Minsk in 2013 and followed it up with a silver in the same event the following year in Cali, Colombia, but Irvine says his enjoyment of competing has diminished.

"Something has just happened to me over the last 1-2 years and I can’t really pin point it," he wrote. "Okay, I’ve had a few crashes that have left metal inside me but I came back from them. I mean, I won a European medal six months after breaking my hip!

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that its a mental thing. However, its not that simple. I really miss racing, even now when I’ve barely stopped. It just feels like a natural end though. For the last year I’ve been racing and under performing across the board.

"Frustration has been setting in all year and I’m sick of just turning up to bike races. I set my own bar by winning seven medals in a row. World Championship, European, World Cup and Commonwealth Games medals all hang up in my house somewhere.

"At the time, every single one of them was taken for granted. I never appreciated how cool it was to be winning medals. Since then I’ve just stopped winning and stopped enjoying it."

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Irvine has performed well on the road as well as the track, finishing seventh overall in the An Post Ras with Madison Genesis in 2015 and claiming three podium finishes in the National Championships time trial.

"Hopefully this isn't the last time you hear from me and just to let you know I’m not stopping cycling, I’m just stopping putting cycling first in my life," he added. "I’m retiring from International competition. I was trying my best to not use the word “retiring” but it’s probably what's happening to me.

"I don’t really know what to say next. I have thousands of people I need to thank and I really hope to meet every one of you personally.

"People who got me cycling, people who got me competing, people who coached me to be the best I could physically be and the people who have kept me cycling, I’m grateful to every one of you and I’d love to repay the favour someday, somewhere."

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.