New Zealand cycling bosses have lauded the contribution of two-time World Champion Alison Shanks who announced her retirement from the sport today.
BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott said that Shanks had made a tough call but it was typical of her attitude that she did not want to continue in the sport unless she could be the best in the world.
“Since Sarah Ulmer, our ranks in terms of female endurance track riders have been quite thin. Ali took up that challenge in terms of individual pursuit, coming into the sport late, and her results speak for themselves,” Elliott said.
“She achieved world titles and a Commonwealth Games gold medal on the back of complete dedication and a single-minded attitude to be the best she could be.
“When the women’s team pursuit was brought in to the Olympic programme instead of the individual pursuit, Alison put her personal disappointed behind her and played a key role in that campaign leading up to the London. While they did not get the medal they were chasing, their hard work and commitment could not be faulted.
“Alison battled with the hip injury and since her surgery she has done everything possible to get herself back. Her decision today is a testament to her uncompromising attitude.
Elliott said that Shanks is gifted in many skills off the bike and hopes she can continue to play a significant role in the sport in the future, especially now she has moved to Cambridge with her husband Craig Palmer, who is a sports scientist for BikeNZ.