Cycling: Britain’s top Olympian Sir Chris Hoy set to quit saddle

Six-time Olympic gold medallist  calls press conference

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy is expected to announce his retirement at a press conference at Murrayfield stadium this week.

Since London 2012 , the 37-year-old has been deliberating over his future, with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow a major carrot. But the Scot will be 38 by the time competition commences at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Privately, figures in British Cycling have known for some time that Hoy, who won his first Olympic gold in Athens in 2004, has been preparing to announce his retirement. He will do so on Thursday.

Hoy competed at four Olympic Games, winning a British record six gold medals, including two in the capital last August and three in Beijing in 2008.

It is not just in the Olympics where Hoy triumphed, but his success there propelled him to superstardom. He has 11 world titles, the first coming in 2002, when he also won Commonwealth gold in Manchester. In 2008 he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and knighted in the New Year Honours.

Hoy was not chosen to defend his sprint title at London 2012 as only one rider per nation could compete and Jason Kenny, considered Hoy’s heir apparent, won gold. He raced on the final day of the London 2012 track programme, winning the keirin to gain his sixth Olympic gold and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave as the Briton with the most golds. With an announcement due to take place at Murrayfield Stadium, that is likely to be his final competitive action.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s most successful Olympic canoeist, Tim Brabants, has retired. The 36-year-old appeared at the Games four times, becoming the first British canoeist to win gold at Beijing in 2008 as he claimed the K1 1,000m title. He also took bronze in the K1 500m competition in Beijing. He had opened his Olympic account with bronze in Sydney 12 years earlier in the K1 1,000m.

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