Top British track rider Jamie Staff retires from cycling
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Top British track rider Jamie Staff retires from cycling

by VeloNation Press at 2:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track

Stepping away from the sport after suffering a frustrating injury, Olympic champion Jamie Staff has announced that he is retiring from cycling.

The 36 year old was an important part of the British track scene for eight years, winning three world titles and Olympic gold. The disciplines concerned were team sprint and keirin.

He was forced to miss this month’s world track championships due to a back injury and, facing a long road back to fitness, has decided to call it a day.

“I’ve decided to announce my retirement from competitive cycling,” said Staff in a statement. “I’ve been racing for 27 years and have accomplished all my goals in winning World and Olympic titles at two cycling disciplines. I now feel it’s time to pass the challenge on to the younger members of the Great Britain squad in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012.

“I feel that looking at the big picture I would struggle to compete with the best riders in the world at the London Olympics and be in a position to win the Gold medal again.”

Staff’s position as first man in the team sprint was taken up by Jason Kenny at the track worlds in Copenhagen. The British quartet were third there, taking bronze ahead of China. It was the first time in six years that they missed out on either gold or silver, but high performance director Dave Brailsford insisted that he was not panicking.

He pointed to Kenny’s impressive opening lap as proof that he had performed well and would be able to fill Staff’s shoes if necessary.

Brailsford contrasted the different abilities of the two. He noted that Staff had a phenomenal acceleration for the first half lap, but then tended to lose pace. He said that Kenny took longer to get up to top speed, but that he was able to continue for longer.

Staff was keen to pay tribute to the efforts of those who helped him to have a successful career. “I wish to thank everyone at British Cycling for believing in me and giving me the best support an athlete could ever wish for,” he said in his statement. “I especially want to thank Dave Brailsford, Shane Sutton, my coach Iain Dyer, my sponsors Sky + HD and all the support staff for being very professional, and being there when I needed them most.

“I can honestly say that I have become a better person for being part of the British Cycling team and have had the time of my life. For that I will be forever grateful.”

Staff said that he plans to stay involved in cycling, both through coaching and other unnamed projects. He also stated that he was in the process of setting up his own bicycle company.


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