Wendy Houvenaghel has announced she is to retire from competitive cycling ahead of the Commonwealth Games. She was due to ride for Northern Ireland but an injury sustained while training has ruled her out.
Houvenaghel was a regular on Britain’s track squad since 2006 where she debuted at the track world championships in the individual pursuit. She then became a cornerstone of the women’s team pursuit squad when it became a world championships event in Manchester 2008.
She was part of the winning team that year, in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2010 she won a silver medal, the only year the British team did not win the team pursuit title.
Houvenaghel won an Olympic silver medal in Beijing behind Rebecca Romero. At London 2012 Houvenaghel was the fourth rider in the British team pursuit squad. She trained with Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King – who set three world records in three rides on their way to a gold medal – throughout the 2012 season but wasn’t given a ride in any of the three rounds and therefore wasn’t elligible for a medal. Something she bitterly complained about in an interview with the BBC. She hasn’t been funded by the British squad since then.