Sir Chris Hoy has revealed that he is postponing making a decision regarding his retirement until after next year’s Olympic Games in London. The track events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will take place in the velodrome that bears his name, but the Scot has said that he is unwilling to make any firm commitment yet regarding whether he will compete there.
Hoy, who has amassed four Olympic gold medals in his career to date, was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow.
"I have not thought beyond London," he told The Scotsman. "I will let the dust settle and then see what happens. It would be a massive thing to be part of the Commonwealth games here in Glasgow. What a way that would be to finish your career. But two years is a long time when you consider the commitment required.
"I'll be there, but whether I'm competing or not, I'm not sure. I'm just focused on London right now. I'll wait and see how things go there. Two years - it is not infeasible. It just depends on motivation and injury status.
"I will be 38 then, so it is a challenge to be at the peak of your condition,” he continued. “You couldn't turn up if you were less than 100 per cent, because the Commonwealth standard is almost world standard. It is not a soft sport in Commonwealth terms.
"I don't want to turn up and just be handed a jersey. I want to win a medal and to do that you need to be at the top of your game."
Hoy also played down concerns over Team GB’s Olympic preparations, with Australia dominating the World Championships in The Netherlands in March, taking eight gold medals compared to just one, in the women’s team pursuit, won by British riders.
"If you look at the cold statistics of it, we medalled in 70 per cent of the Olympic events [raced at the world championships]," he maintained. "It's just at the world championships you have other events that aren't Olympic events, so we target the Olympic events and not the other events so the day the medal tables don't look quite so rosy.
“But it's about performing well when it counts,” Hoy continued. “At Olympic Games, there are no excuses, no what ifs or what we are going to do next time. It's about that one period of time and we will be ready for that. We have shown in the past that we can peak at the right time and I'm confident the team can do really well.
"Within the team there is no panic. I think it's more the kind of perception from outside that maybe things aren't quite as rosy as they have been. But it's not many sports where you can medal in 70 per cent of the events and have a perceived crisis. It's anything but, really.
"Again, if you look at the individual performances, it's a fraction of a percent either way that could have shifted a bronze to a silver or a silver to a gold,” Hoy added.
“You throw a few other things into the equations - home advantage, the extra motivation and peaking at the right time. You can't predict medals or colours of medals, but we are certainly looking for good results in London," he concluded.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.