I STILL want to win medals. I still want to hit the targets which British Cycling have set for me. But I just can’t do it in 10 weeks.

So I’m afraid I have to inform you all that for the sake of my own health, both mentally and physically, that I have had to pull out of the UCI Track World Cup in Glasgow next month.

This breaks my heart. I’ve still never ridden in The Chris Hoy velodrome and obviously Chris is a mate so it would have been cool to ride a race like this in my mate’s velodrome.

The last time I competed for Great Britain was last August and it would have been great to get out there and do so again.

But I also don’t want to put myself on a start line knowing I haven’t done everything in my power to perform at my best.


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I can handle not winning, so long as I know I have given it my all.

But I know I haven’t been able to give it my all. I can almost hear Chris’ voice in my head saying that.

I’ve had to spend so much of that time learning to walk again.

I need to play the long game. And I know that missing out this time is only whetting my appetite to make sure that I am there in 2023, when the world will descend on Glasgow for the first-ever combined World Championships.

And I won’t just be going there just to make up the numbers. I will be riding for a medal.

Of course, I still want to win. That’s why I train, but I also want to have goals that sit with my values, the values I had as a kid running in the Highland mountains.

Back then, it was about being free. Cycling gives me this freedom and I don’t want it to only become about winning.

Look at Killian Jornet, the free-running mountain athlete from Spain who is known for his ability to perform impressive feats of endurance at altitude holds the fastest known ascents and descents on the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Everest.

Even though he has multiple world medals to his name he would tell you he doesn’t run to win, he runs to discover himself.

Okay, I know that sounds a bit deep, but stick with me.

Life is about finding your purpose and passion, goals that align with your values then giving it 100%.


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Much like Jornet, I first fell in love with sport as a way to go outside and push my body. Slowly, it became about winning and I guess all that has come around full circle as I sit here now looking at my bike.

Like Killian I still want to push my mind and body but I now know that for me to do that I am going to need a strong strength foundation so my body can handle the training. Not 10 weeks but more like 10 months.

As it happens, I spoke this week at Nike and Exponential-e on their management academy program and my parting words were about squeezing everything out of life that you can as we only get this one chance. As I travelled home from both events, I asked myself the question of what do I do next with my sporting journey?

The news of boxer Patrick Day passing away this week after being knocked out at the age of 27 was another hard reminder that it’s so important we do what we love.

What’s the point in winning an Olympic medal if you don’t enjoy the process of getting there. Sure, there will be days that are not fun but on the whole winning shouldn’t be a relief but an enjoyable process. That certainly seemed to be the case watching Eliud Kipchoge break the two-hour barrier for the marathon or seeing Jan Frodeno win his third Ironman world championship in Kona.

Obviously missing Glasgow takes away one of my last real chances to compete for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics so I have a few weeks to decide what my next option will be.

I could attempt to race at the end of November in Manchester but not be physically ready. Or I could step away from the national team altogether and train away from the program, much like what John Archibald does with the HUUB guys in Derby. That would mean giving up the £800 a month which I get from UK sport.

It would be a big decision to leave the national team as I will lose my bikes and support. However, with everything in life, any decision we make creates opportunity, it’s just down to how we perceive it.


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For me leaving the national team would not be the end of my cycling career or life as an athlete but one of new horizons and maybe one that aligns more with my values.

If anything, I perceive it as something very exciting that will throw up some challenges but it will remove a tremendous amount of pressure of having to win. If I am honest dealing with that on top of living with this tumour has just been too much for me.

For now I am going to jump on the indoor bike to slowly ease my back into training again. That will help me ponder the major decisions I have to make over the next few weeks.