Track cyclist Cure retires ahead of Games

Amy Cure has passed up a shot at a third Olympics after announcing her track cycling retirement on Friday.

Amy Cure has told of the emotional toll that weighed heavily in the late stages of her cycling career after opting to pass up a third Olympic appearance and retire from the sport.

The three-time world champion had been selected for the Tokyo Games before its postponement.

But she says she's now comfortable knowing she won't get a chance to add an Olympic medal to her historic swag at next year's event.

"I feel the same as I do on the start line at an Olympic Games or world championships," the 27-year-old said.

"I'm incredibly nervous, but also so excited for the unknown.

"But after making cycling my priority for the last decade, my relationships with family and friends are my priority now."

The Tasmanian remains the only track cyclist in history to win a medal in six different world championship events, while her 13 world championship medals rank second all-time for Australia's female track cyclists behind Anna Meares.

Cure rated her third world title, in last year's team pursuit in Poland, her proudest moment.

"Four months prior to those world championships, I had a breakdown of a long-term relationship that came to an unexpected end," she said.

"It was a difficult and dark time, so to be able to come out and win the gold medal despite the circumstances was an incredible self-achievement and my proudest moment."

Aware that her departure would unsettle the team, Cure insisted it was in Australia's best interests.

"I would much rather allow someone else that has the drive, energy, motivation and potential to be great," she said.

"I believe they will do just as good, if not better without me there. And there is no doubt in my mind about that."

Cure was part of the 2012 Games squad but missed a ride in London when squeezed out of the team pursuit, so she was forced to wait until Rio for an Olympic racing debut.

A replacement will be named to take Cure's place in Japan next year.

"I want to personally thank Amy for her tremendous contribution to the sport of cycling for more than 15 years," Cycling Australia performance director Simon Jones said.

"I fully support Amy's decision to retire, understanding the significance to her and the team. From all the team, we wish you well for the future."


AAP