Multiple Olympic champion Dani Rowe (née King) has announced her retirement from cycling with immediate effect. Rowe announced her decision to hang up her racing wheels in a post on the website of her coaching company, which she runs with her husband, Matt, brother-in-law Luke Rowe, and their father.
Still just 28, Rowe’s career has spanned a decade, starting on the track and moving over to the road full-time in recent seasons.
Most of her major success came on the track, with an Olympic Gold medal, three world titles and two European titles, all in the Team Pursuit. She also has a bronze medal from the Worlds in the Scratch race in 2011, a silver at European level in the Points race, and this season she took bronze in the road race at the Commonwealth Games.
"Today marks both the end of one chapter in my career, and the start of a new one. As from today, I’m announcing my retirement from professional cycling," Rowe wrote.
"Skipping a maths lesson at school in 2004 when British Cycling visited ultimately led me to achieve my childhood dream of becoming World and Olympic champion. After 14 years of dedicating my life to a bike I’ve decided to go out on a high after the satisfaction of achieving everything and more in the sport than I ever set out to."
Rowe spent most of her early years on the track as part of an extremely successful Great Britain team. She rode a few road races during that time but began testing herself more on the road in 2013 when she signed for Wiggle-Honda. For several years she continued to mix her ambitions but in 2016 she decided to leave the track altogether to focus on selection for the road race team at the Olympic Games in Rio later that year.
She kicked the year off with fourth at the Santos Women’s Tour and third at the subsequent Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. In the end, she would miss selection but continued to progress on the road and moved to the US-based team Cylance for the 2017 season. This year, she moved to Marianne Vos’ WaowDeals squad and enjoyed arguably her best season to date, with third in the Commonwealth Games road race and podium places at the Tour de Yorkshire and Women’s Tour.
Rowe said that deciding to step away from cycling was a hard decision but that it allowed her to try different things that she had previously been unable to do.
"I feel that it would have been an easier decision to carry on cycling, as it’s something that’s defined me since the age of 14. It’s a scary world outside of professional sport but one I’m willing to jump into with open arms, taking opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to when cycling," she said.
"Cycling has enriched my life in so many ways. It has given me the highest of highs and also plenty of lows that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I will always be so thankful for that. I’ve met my closest friends and my husband through the sport. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been on this amazing journey with me, but especially my parents, sister Sarah, and husband Matt, who have provided the most amazing support.
"I’ve already got exciting plans in place for 2019, including how I remain in this amazing sport, and I look forward to sharing this with you in the New Year."