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Hoy set for British cycling mentor role

ESPN staff
April 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
'Legend' Hoy will be greatly missed - Gary West

Sir Chris Hoy will take up a mentoring role with British Cycling but has ruled out returning to the sport as a coach.

The six-time Olympic champion announced his retirement from competitive cycling ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he hopes to mentor the Scottish track cycling team at the velodrome named in his honour.

But while Hoy is keen to play a role in producing the next generation of elite British cyclists, the 37-year-old does not see himself in a coaching role in the immediate future, admitting he is keen to take a step back from the day-in, day-out demands of the sport.

"Not coaching, mentoring - possibly with the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games," Hoy told the BBC, when asked about his future. "A coach has the same commitment as an athlete, they have to be there for all the training sessions and competitions and it's a huge commitment and a full-time thing.

"As a mentor you're there to speak to the athletes as and when they want, so I'm basically giving my time up to be available to athletes who perhaps want to discuss their concerns leading up to the Games.

"You might want to ask, 'How do you deal with pressure?' or 'How would you advise me to deal with this or that situation?'. It may be that it's just a five-minute chat or ongoing meetings with athletes and maybe even coaches."

Hoy became Britain's most decorated Olympian with gold medals in the team sprint and the keirin at London 2012, and has been hailed as a key component in the growth of the sport in the UK.

But the Scot believes the country's success is down to a series of factors, from funding windfalls to coaching adances as well as a crop of talented cyclists.

"There's no one reason for it," he added. "I think it was the right people at the right time coming together in the team.

"It's the fact that we've been very fortunate to have this support from lottery funding that started just at the beginning of my career.

"We got Manchester Velodrome, now we have Glasgow Velodrome, London Velodrome and Newport Velodrome, so the sport is growing.

"It's not just track cycling, it's across the board. The Tour De France win for Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish winning stages and being world champion - it's phenomenal.

"And as a fan of the sport, to see it just transform over the years. When I first started we had Chris Boardman and Yvonne McGregor, one or two medallists, but now you've got a whole host of household names."

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