Cycling: Sir Chris Hoy set for mentor role


Sir Chris Hoy believes he can help the next generation of British cyclists overcome their anxieties and propel the sport to new levels of popularity.

The six-time Olympic champion, 37, announced his retirement from competitive cycling ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he will instead act as a mentor.

The Scot has already backed his former team-mate Jason Kenny to far outstrip his own achievements and, although he will not fulfil a coaching role, he will be on hand to encourage other youngsters to success.

He told BBC Breakfast: "Not coaching, mentoring possibly with the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games.

"A coach has the same commitment as an athlete, they have to be there for all the training sessions and competitions and it's a huge commitment and a full-time thing.

"As a mentor you're there to speak to the athletes as and when they want so I'm basically giving my time up to be available to athletes who perhaps want to discuss their concerns leading up to the games.

"You might want to ask 'how do you deal with pressure?' or 'how would you advise me to deal with this or that situation?'.

"It may be that it's just a five-minute chat or ongoing meetings with athletes and maybe even coaches."

Hoy, who claimed his last two gold medals with victory in the team sprint and keirin at last summer's London Games, also reflected on a decade which has seen enormous growth in the popularity of cycling in Britain.

"There's no one reason for it," he added. "I think it was the right people at the right time coming together in the team.

"It's the fact that we've been very fortunate to have this support from lottery funding that started just at the beginning of my career.

"We got Manchester Velodrome, now we have Glasgow Velodrome, London Velodrome and Newport Velodrome, so the sport is growing.

"It's not just track cycling, it's across the board. The Tour De France win for Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish winning stages and being world champion - it's phenomenal.

"And as a fan of the sport, to see it just transform over the years. When I first started we had Chris Boardman and Yvonne McGregor, one or two medallists, but now you've got a whole host of household names."