Double World Champion Kiwi Cyclist Retires - Double world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alison Shanks has today announced she is to retire from cycling.

The 31 year old, who has battled back from injury and hip surgery over the past two years, has decided the time is right to finish her competitive cycling career.

Shanks, who managed her injury throughout her 2012 Olympic campaign, had surgery last year with the intent of returning for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year and the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

However she says that she can no longer manage the physical and mental demands to get back to the top of her sport. 

“I have been playing sport my entire life and have had an incredible journey.  I have cherished every single part of it - the hard work, the training, the people, the travel, the failures and obviously the successes. I love representing my family, Otago and my country,” Shanks said.

“I have a real passion for what I do and have always committed 100 percent but I have to listen to my body when enough is enough. 

“If I can’t do something 100 percent physically and mentally then it’s time to find a new challenge and start a new adventure.

“I can’t keep pushing at the level that I need and want to in order to achieve the results that will make my country, my family and my friends and most importantly myself, proud.”

Shanks said that her hip is improving and she believes she could win a spot in the team for Glasgow, but does not want to just attend if she cannot be at the level to win a gold medal again.

“I have been out of competition for so long now. I have been working hard but the spark and passion that drives me is not there. The way I work with my husband and coach Craig, we are not willing to do something unless we can do it to the absolute best that I can be.

“It has been tough to let go but I know this decision to retire from cycling is right one and I will step away satisfied and proud of what I have achieved with the help of a massive support team including HPSNZ, BikeNZ and my team of sponsors

“I am disappointed that I won't race on the new Avantidrome in Cambridge but there will always be ‘another race’ as the cycling world carries on but in every athlete’s career there has to be one final finish line and I’ve reached mine.”

Shanks said that she remains passionate about the sport and about her future, working with her sponsors and other commercial opportunities.

“I’m excited about the new pathways that lie ahead and it’s now time to transfer all my drive and energy into a new passion and put my marketing and nutrition degrees to use.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to extend work with my sponsors Volkswagen and Avanti as well as continuing my role as an Olympic Ambassador with the NZOC.

“Craig and I are about to start building our house with Urban Homes in the Waikato which is a really exciting time. And of course as BikeNZ steps into a new era with the new Avantidrome Home of Cycling in Cambridge and I hope to stay involved in the sport that has given me so much.”