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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.