2005 to 2015, 10 years, thats how long I have been racing as a cyclist. Having come from a non cycling background and picked up by British Cycling Talent team on my school field as a teenager, I look back and realise how lucky I was for that opportunity and how much it went on to change my life. The amount of things I have learnt in this time, all through cycling has been unreal. The diverse range of people I have met, the incredible places I have been, the success, satisfaction and fulfilment along with pain and disappointment has been phenomenal, I guess that is the beauty of sport. The life without limitations, always pushing for better and for more.
It is now that I have time to look back and analyse what I have done in the last ten years that it actually surprises me. I have been able to experience so much in such a short space of time, all because of this sport and it has gone so incredibly fast. I have been to one Olympic Games, one Commonwealth Games, three Road World Championships, three Junior European Championships, two Track World Cups, twenty seven Road World Cups, on top of all the other week in week out races all around the world; representing my country and various professional teams along the way.
Every single athlete is eventually faced with the question; when do I retire? Some retire at their peak, some unfortunately retire due to injury or age or simply just when they know its time. I have decided now. After seven seasons as an elite rider I have finally realised that this is the time and I am lucky to be in a situation where I have been able to make this decision on my own terms and I am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I love cycling and what it has brought me and it will always be a part of my life. I was given a great chance this season racing for a British Team Matrix Fitness, full of support with a really refreshing approach to racing and I have thoroughly enjoyed my season. It is this high that has led me to make this decision to end my career now with a good feeling and great memories.
There are so many people who have inspired me along the way in so many different ways. The people who have truly believed in me and wanted to help me succeed and make the journey so pleasurable. Other riders who have inspired me, helping me to learn so much and brought the satisfaction of racing together as a team full of sacrifice. Thats one thing that I am really passionate about within this sport. My friends and of course my family who have played a huge role in my career. Team managers, sponsors, the crowds of spectators at races, the list just goes on. Cycling is so much more than I ever ever imagined it could be and such a community. I will continue to be involved and hopefully inspire and give back to this sport which I am so thankful to have had.
All I can say is it is truly amazing what sport can do.
Some images from the 2015 season: