Sir Chris Hoy interview, Glasgow Track World Cup 2012, day three

Sir Chris Hoy has today confirmed that he is to retire from international competition. The six time Olympic champion made the announcement in Edinburgh.

"It's probably not a massive surprise I'm officially announcing my retirement from international competition today. It's not decision I took lightly, but I know its the right time." Hoy said.

"I just feel that I don't want to be [in Glasgow] to make up the numbers. I feel I got every last drop out in London. It would be better to stand aside to let the younger riders come through."

"I've been in the sport as a senior for 19 years. The sport has changed beyond recognition. To be part of that journey has been a massive honour."

"To try and and go for another year would be too much, one year too far for me. I'd rather step aside and let someone else have their opportunity. I don't want this to be a sad moment. There's always a temptation of going on too long."

Hoy had suffered with minor injuries in the build up to the London Olympics due to the intensity of the training, as situation that was not going to improve as he gets older. "Everything that was becoming an issue in the build up to the Olympics last year was becoming more of an issue," he said.

"I had a proper break after the Games and before long I wanted to get back on the bike. I thought if I kept my hand in, it gave me the option to decide [about Glasgow]. In sport, you're dealing with such small margins, and you can tell when you're good, but not good enough."

Hoy had been taking time out of the sport since the London Olympics. He rode a series of sprint races at the Rotterdam Six-day over winter, but opted out of the serious competition at the track world cups and world championships in Belarus in February.

The Scot had always said that he would only continue if he was able to train to his own very high standards. As he delayed any announcement until now the expectation was that it would be of retirement, and when the email went round earlier this week regarding an announcement the media came to the correct conclusion en masse.

Hoy won his first Olympic medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, taking silver in the team sprint with Jason Queally and Craig MacLean. Four years later he won his first gold in Athens, winning the kilometre time trial.

In Beijing he dominated the sprint competition winning all three events - the team sprint, kierin and individual sprint - and returned to the UK a hero. He was knighted and won the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

"Question is what's next?" Hoy asked. "Immediately, first thing is to step back and let it all sink in. I'm looking forward to continuing my career as a football referee...sorry, that's Chris Foy."

Related links

Sir Chris Hoy rider profile

Sir Chris Hoy; 80 medals and counting

Sir Chris Hoy launches bike range

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel