• Cycling

Redgrave hails 'phenomenal' Hoy

ESPN staff
April 19, 2013
Sir Steve Redgrave believes Sir Chris Hoy is a British treasure © Getty Images

Sir Steve Redgrave has paid tribute to Sir Chris Hoy, after the cyclist announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday.

Hoy replaced Redgrave, the five-time Olympic gold medallist rower, as the most successful British Olympian of all-time at London 2012 last summer, as the Scot picked up gold in the team sprint and keirin to take his overall tally to six golds and a silver.

And Redgrave believes Hoy should now take his place at the very top of Great Britain's list of sporting greats.

"Sir Chris Hoy should be rated right at the top of Britain's sporting pantheon," Redgrave told the Daily Telegraph. "He is not just a big name in Britain but a major sportsman in global terms.

"To be winning medals and competing at the highest level for 13 years is a phenomenal achievement.

"The success of British cycling, and especially of Chris and Bradley Wiggins, is reflected in the way the roads are so full of Lycra-clad cyclists these days."

Redgrave famously proclaimed that "if anyone sees me anywhere near a boat, they have permission to shoot me" after his own retirement in 1996, before subsequently coming back to the sport to claim a fifth gold medal at Sydney in 2000.

He is confident, however, that Hoy has chosen the right time to bow out - even with a Commonwealth Games in his home country awaiting in 2014.

"I know Chris spent a long time mulling over the idea of competing on his own track in Glasgow, a track named after him," Redgrave added. "That must have been a very big draw.

"But instead he has decided to draw a line under a great career. I guess the London Games would have been tough to follow."

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