Sir Chris Hoy insists he has no regrets about calling time on his illustrious career as next year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games loom ever closer.
Hoy, who has won six Olympic gold medals, made the tough decision to retire after his double success in London last year.
But the Edinburgh-born star admitted the idea of ending his long run of success on a home track had been sorely tempting.
Hoy said: “A lot of time you look forward to the Games and think it would be amazing to be a part of it all - to be competing and getting that home support again.
“But you can only do so much and eventually your body waves a white flag and says that’s it.
“To manage to continue to the age of 36 in London was a big old challenge, and to go on for two more years it appeared it was never going to be possible.
“It would have been lovely to do it, but now I’m going to enjoy it as a spectator.”
Hoy, who will instead be involved in Glasgow in an ambassadorial role, expects more London 2012 stars to commit to the Games and does not expect a lack of motivation to be a factor for the likes of his former track team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Wiggins, with whom Hoy shares Great Britain’s all-time Olympic medal record of seven, is among those yet to commit to competing in Glasgow.
Hoy added: “Bradley has achieved more than anybody in the sport. He has won everything on the road and on the track so it is just down to personal reasons why he is still competing.
“I don’t foresee any issues of motivation for the athletes who have been part of Great Britain team for London, because it is an entirely separate event and it’s a whole different environment to be in.”
In Hoy’s absence Scotland’s cycling challenge in Glasgow is likely to be headed by 20-year-old sprinter Callum Skinner, who was inspired to take up the sport after watching win the first of his Olympic golds in Athens in 2004.
Two years earlier Hoy had won his first Commonwealth title in Manchester and he expects the likes of Skinner to follow his example in using the unique opportunity provided by the Games to move on to greater things.
Hoy said: “The Commonwealth Games have traditionally been a big breakthrough moment for many athletes in their careers, and for me to win my first individual gold in Manchester was really the springboard to Olympic success two years later.
“Callum is part of the British set-up at the moment and this could really be the chance he needs to break through to the highest international level.
“He’s going to be up against the best guys in the world like Jason Kenny, but in the keirin in particular I think he could be one of the outside bets for a medal.
“The Commonwealth Games is a unique and stand-alone event. For many athletes it is the pinnacle of their careers and for others it is a stepping-stone. But the quality of competition - especially in track cycling - is very high.”