BikeNZ praises retired Olympic cyclist

BikeNZ has heaped praise on track and road cyclist Peter Latham who has announced he will retire from the sport next month.

The 28 year old, originally from Te Awamutu, will bring the curtain down on a decade of competition on the world stage when he rides for his Subway Pro Cycling team at next month’s Festival of Cycling in Christchurch.

Latham competed at two Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games as well as being a regular part of the New Zealand team at 10 world championships.

His highlights included finishing the 2011/2012 track season as the World Ranked No 1 in the individual pursuit, medalling in the team pursuit at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and world championship medals in the same discipline at Poland in 2009 and Copenhagen in 2010.

Latham came into prominence when he won the bronze medal in the under-23 time trial at the world championships in Madrid in 2005. He also won a World Cup title in the individual pursuit at Beijing this year, is the current national champion in that event, and also recorded his personal best at that distance in finishing sixth at the world championships in Melbourne last year.

Latham, who has been coached throughout his career by Graham Bunn, has enjoyed a successful career on the road in France for five years, then as a part of the Bissell Pro Cycling Team in the USA for two years and more recently the Subway Pro Cycling Team in New Zealand.

"Peter is a talented rider on the bike, and an outstanding, intelligent character off it who has an excellent work ethic," said BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.

"He has been a consistent performer who never let himself or his teammates down. Peter has been a real credit to himself and his sport and I am sure he will prove a real success at whatever career he chooses."

Latham, who lives in Wellington with wife Sally, plans to complete a Masters in Applied Finance next year and will also move into coaching.

"I have always loved racing the track and I want to thank all the people in BikeNZ and HPSNZ who share the same passion to succeed. Thank you to the road teams I have ridden for especially the Subway Pro Cycling team and the Bissell Pro Cycling team for being so sympathetic towards my track ambitions over the last number of years," Latham said.

"I have been very lucky to have had a job I loved doing over the last 10 years, to have worked with like- minded motivated people, and to have made great friends around the world. I have always loved racing my bike, training hard, and getting the best out of myself. These are all memories that I will savour, and even more so because of the good people that I shared them with."