Reigning Olympic and former team sprint World champion Jamie Staff announced his retirement from competitive cycling via his personal website on Sunday night.

The 36-year-old has been a key member of Great Britain’s team sprint squad, bringing home a gold medal as part of the winning GB trio at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 – a title he will not now help to defend at the Olympic Games in London, 2012.

“I’ve decided to announce my retirement from competitive cycling,” Staff wrote on his website.

“I’ve been racing for 27 years and have accomplished all my goals in winning World and Olympic titles at two cycling disciplines.

“I now feel it’s time to pass the challenge on to the younger members of the Great Britain squad in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012,” Staff said, in reference to the likes of young British sprinters Kenny (22), Edgar (27), David Daniell (20) and Matt Crampton (23).

Jamie Staff Sky+HD team track October 30 2008

Staff was not selected to ride at last week’s 2010 Track Cycling World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, instead he attended the event as a TV commentator for British Eurosport. In the event, Britain’s team sprint trio of Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar failed to win gold and came away with bronze.

“I feel that looking at the big picture I would struggle to compete with the best riders in the World at the London Olympics and be in a position to win the gold medal again,” Staff wrote.

Staff went on to thank key staff at British Cycling, including team manager Dave Brailsford, and coaches Shane Sutton and Iain Dyer. The 1996 BMX world champion will now concentrate on coaching and creating his own bicycle company.

“I can honestly say that I have become a better person for being part of the British Cycling team and have had the time of my life, and for that I will be forever grateful,” said Staff. “I am very happy and very content and so this is not a sad day.”

Team Sprint podium

Jamie Staff: Career highlights

2009

Awarded MBE in 2009 New Year Honours

Track World Cup, Copenhagen, team sprint gold

National champion, team sprint

Track World Cup, Manchester, team sprint

2008

Olympic champion, team sprint

Gold medal, team sprint Manchester World Cup

2005

World champion, team sprint

2004

World champion, keirin

2003

Gold, team sprint, World Cup

Gold, ‘kilo’, World Cup

2002

World champion, team sprint

1996

World BMX champion

Related links

Jamie Staff: Rider Profile

UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2010: CW’s coverage index