Callum Skinner has revealed that he is taking a break from cycling but is planning to return in time to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Skinner was part of the Great Britain’s winning team sprint squad at the Rio Olympics, where he also took silver behind teammate Jason Kenny in the individual sprint.
The Scot has not raced since April, when he claimed a bronze medal in the kilometre time trial at the Commonwealth Games. Skinner was not part of the British team at the recent European Championships, which took place in Glasgow.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday, Skinner admitted that he had struggled to maintain his motivation in the wake of the Rio Olympics, and he has opted to step away temporarily from the velodrome.
“I wasn't able to continue that upward trend, or momentum, that I found at the Olympic Games," Skinner told the BBC.
“Whether it was that the training wasn't quite right or my head wasn't in the right place or my motivation wasn't quite what it once was, I needed to take some time to step back and re-evaluate and see where to go from there.”
Although the 26-year-old Skinner is not currently training on the track, he is continuing to train to maintain muscle mass, which he described as “the most important thing for a sprinter.”
Skinner has been a part of the British track set-up since he was 17 years of age, though he missed the London 2012 Olympics after taking time away from the sport at the end of 2011, when he had been misdiagnosed with lymphoma.
“Tokyo is still very much on my mind,” Skinner said. “British Cycling are all about the Olympics so I'm very grateful to them for giving me space to re-evaluate things and see how I can push forward all the way to there.”