Hampshire-born rider brings curtain down on a career in which she also won Commonwealth bronze on the road

Former Olympic champion Dani Rowe has announced her retirement from cycling at the age of 28.

Three times a world champion in the team pursuit, the event in which she won Olympic gold at London 2012 under her maiden name of Dani King, Rowe also enjoyed success on the road.

That included winning Commonwealth bronze for Wales – the country the Hampshire-born rider adopted after marrying Matt Rowe in September 2017 – in the road race at Gold Coast this year.

In a statement, she said: “Today marks both the end of one chapter in my career, and the start of a new one. As from today I’m announcing my retirement from professional cycling.

“Skipping a maths lesson at school in 2004 when British Cycling visited ultimately led me to achieving my childhood dream of becoming World and Olympic champion. After 14 years of dedicating my life to a bike I’ve decided to go out on a high after the satisfaction of achieving everything & more in the sport that I ever set out to.

“To have been multiple National champion, multiple European champion, Commonwealth Games medallist, 3 times World Champion, and have won Olympic Gold in my home country, is more than I could have ever dreamed of. 

“I feel privileged to be able to finish my professional cycling career on my own terms and in a great place mentally with the sport. I’m an achiever and I’m driven through hitting and improving on targets I set myself. After winning a medal in the Commonwealth Games I have won a major medal in all that I can in cycling and it’s now time to enter the next chapter of my life.

“I feel that it would have been an easier decision to carry on cycling, as it’s something that’s defined me since the age of 14. It’s a scary world outside of professional sport but one I’m willing to jump into with open arms taking opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to when cycling.

“Cycling has enriched my life in so many ways.  It has given me the highest of highs and also plenty of lows that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I will always be so thankful for that.

“I’ve met my closest friends and my husband through the sport. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been on this amazing journey with me, but especially my parents, sister Sarah, and husband Matt who have provided the most amazing support.”

Rowe, who runs a coaching business with her husband, added: “I’ve already got exciting plans in place for 2019, including how I remain in this amazing sport, and I look forward to sharing this with you in the New Year.”

Great Britain Cycling Team performance director, Stephen Park, was among those to pay tribute to Rowe today.

He said: “On behalf of everyone within the Great Britain Cycling Team, I’d like to congratulate Dani on what has been a truly exceptional career.

“Dani’s achievements and medal record are there for all to see, but for those who have worked closely with her, she has been not only a wonderfully talented bike rider, but also a true team player who has possessed all the qualities a coach could ask for in a rider.

“Her fighting spirit and resilience have been evident at various points during her career and, throughout her impressive list of achievements, her attitude has been exemplary. That has become increasingly important in recent years, as she’s acted as a senior member of our women’s road squad – she’s been a true role model for the younger members of the squad and, I’m sure, for many, many other riders who have watched from afar.”

“This natural talent for mentoring and developing young riders has shone through, and will continue to stand Dani – and those she works with – in good stead going forward. Dani is keen to stay involved with British Cycling and the sport as a whole, which will be valuable to all parties. I look forward to having further discussions with Dani once she’s enjoyed a seasonal break,” Park added.

“Everyone at British Cycling wishes her the very best for the future.”

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.