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Roulston calls quits on cycling career

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/10/2016

Double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston is calling time on his long and illustrious cycling career.

Roulston, a two-time Olympian and World Tour professional for more than a decade, will compete for the final time in the Tour of Southland, which begins this weekend.

"The time is right and I feel ready. I've accomplished as much as I possibly can in this sport and I can hold my head high," the 35-year-old said.

"I made it to the top of road cycling and ridden in teams with the best in the sport. I won two medals at the Olympics, went back to the top of road racing and then gave up everything to have a crack at the Olympics after eight years away."

Roulston rode for the high-profile Cofidis team in 2002, moving on to the Discovery Channel team in 2004 and the HealthNet team in the US in 2006.

A medical examination revealed an irregular heartbeat and he was advised to stop riding immediately.

However, he returned to cycling after seeking treatment in New Zealand.

Roulston became the only New Zealand cyclist to win two medals at the same Olympics in 2008, winning silver in the individual pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit.

In his professional career, Roulston enjoyed six wins, rode in four Grand Tours and 19 Classics where he became the key support rider for multi-world champion Fabian Cancellara.

He also won silver with Greg Henderson in the madison at the 2003 world championships, and contested three Commonwealth Games, picking up two silvers and a bronze.

Cycling NZ performance director Mark Elliott said Roulston's Olympic success was the spark that helped ignite the organisation's high performance programme.

"But for me, what sets Roly aside has been his resilience and determination to fight back from his cardiac condition, and his return to the track after eight years away to make the team for Rio."

Roulston will ride for the Placemakers team in the Tour of Southland, which begins on Sunday.

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