22 Apr 2015

Gough retires from track cycling

11:15 am on 22 April 2015

The New Zealand cyclist Westley Gough, a double Olympic medallist, has announced his retirement from track to focus on road racing.

Westley Gough (NZ) 3rd/bronze medal. 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Melbourne.

Westley Gough (NZ) 3rd/bronze medal. 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Melbourne. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 27 year old, who has been part of New Zealand track cycling teams for a decade, has joined Australian based Budget Forklifts team, a UCI Oceania Continental team that competes in the National Racing Series across the Tasman.

Gough says it's been an honour to represent my country at the highest level, but he believes now is the right time to step aside and focus on some new goals, both on and off the bike.

Gough, from Waipukurau in Central Hawkes Bay, became a junior world champion in the team pursuit in 2005 and claimed two world championship silver medals in the team pursuit and individual pursuit the following year.

He was part of the team that won bronze medals in the team pursuit at the Beijing and London Olympics, and three team pursuit medals at the world championships.

The highlight came with a bronze medal in the individual pursuit at the world championships in Melbourne in 2012.

Gough beat overwhelming favourite Australian Rohan Dennis, a double world champion and the current world one hour record holder, on his home patch in the bronze medal ride.

Gough returned from a long term injury last year to form part of the Cycling New Zealand endurance squad, with a youthful combination, that included Gough's teenager cousin Regan, winning the world championship title in the team pursuit in February.

Cycling New Zealand men's endurance track coach, Tim Carswell says Wes has been a massive part of the New Zealand track programme since 2005.... he'll certainly be missed as they prepare for Rio but they also wish him the best as he now focuses on his road racing career.

Gough had to do things the hard way in his early days in track cycling, with no indoor velodrome in the country at that stage, and no velodrome of any kind in Hawkes Bay.

He says his dad Rod and Ross Pepper would drive him to Feilding every Thursday to train with Jesse Sergent and his coach on the concrete track there.