Double world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alison Shanks is retiring from cycling.
The 31 year old, who has battled back from injury and hip surgery over the past two years, has decided the time is right to finish her competitive cycling career.
Shanks, who managed her injury throughout her 2012 Olympic campaign, had surgery last year, intending to return for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year and the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
However she says that she can no longer manage the physical and mental demands to get back to the top of the sport.
"I have been playing sport my entire life and have had an incredible journey," shanks said in a statement.
"I have cherished every single part of it - the hard work, the training, the people, the travel, the failures and obviously the successes. I love representing my family, Otago and my country.
"I have a real passion for what I do and have always committed 100 per cent but I have to listen to my body when enough is enough.
"If I can't do something 100 per cent physically and mentally then it's time to find a new challenge and start a new adventure.
"I can't keep pushing at the level that I need and want to in order to achieve the results that will make my country, my family and my friends - and most importantly myself - proud."
Shanks said her hip was improving and she believed she could win a spot in the team for Glasgow, but did not want to go if she could not be at the level to win a gold medal again.
"I have been out of competition for so long now," she said.
"I have been working hard but the spark and passion that drives me is not there. The way I work with my husband and coach Craig, we are not willing to do something unless we can do it to the absolute best that I can be.
"It has been tough to let go but I know this decision to retire from cycling is right one and I will step away satisfied and proud of what I have achieved."
- © Fairfax NZ News