Five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from cycling aged 36 years.
The 2012 Tour de France winner said he had fulfilled a “childhood aspiration” of making a career out of the sport.
“I’ve met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years,” he said.
“2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards. Kids from Kilburn don’t win Olympic golds and the Tour de France! They do now.”
Wiggins became Britain’s most decorated Olympian in August when he won the team pursuit gold on the track in Rio, his fifth gold and eighth Olympic medal.
He secured eight world titles on the road and track and set the world record for the furthest distance ridden in one hour.
“What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public though thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living,” he added.
“2012 blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids.”
Wiggins’ first success came at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, where he won team pursuit silver aged 18 before securing his first Olympic medal in 2000.
He went on to become the first Briton to win the Tour de France with victory in 2012 and became the only cyclist to win both the Tour and Olympic gold in the same year when he won the men’s time trial in London 10 days later.
He won BBC Sports Personality of the year in 2012, before being knighted in 2013.
He won a second madison track world title in 2016 with Mark Cavendish, before helping Team GB to team pursuit gold in Rio.
However, Wiggins and Team Sky, the professional team he won the Tour with, were put under scrutiny in September for his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), after his confidential medical information was leaked by hackers ‘Fancy Bears’.
The cyclist said he sought TUEs to “put himself back on a level playing field”.
The TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.
There is no suggestion that either he, British Cycling or Team Sky, his former team, have broken any rules.
Wiggins’ final race was in the town of his birth at the Ghent Six Day event in November, where he claimed victory alongside Cavendish.