Irvine: “I made no money from cycling and I’ve no income now”

Posted on: February 20th, 2016

Almost two months after his retirement from racing Martyn Irvine has opened up about financial realities of cycling; even for many of those like him who win world titles (Photo: Sean Rowe)


Almost two months after he announced his retirement from competitive cycling, Martyn Irvine has said while he looks back on his career with fondness, losing his grant was “cold” while having no money coming in at present was a worry.

“I didn’t make any money,” he told Irish sports website The42 in a wide ranging and characteristically honest interview.

“I had one bad year and I wouldn’t have got a grant this year. That’s cold. You have to get results and I was riding for teams and they wanted results.

“When the money wasn’t coming in I began to question why I was putting myself through it all. It got to a stage when it wasn’t worth it. I was tired of that same routine.”

The former track World Champion and 2012 Olympian said while he was in part “shit scared” about being unemployed at present, he still wanted to take time to decided what he wanted to do in the next phase of his life.

“I have no pre-conceived ideas of what I want to do. I’ve been to a few interviews but it’s definitely a big blank canvas,” he said.

“Half of me is shit scared because there’s no money coming in but half of me is thinking I spent a third of my life riding bikes and to just give it a bit of time and see what I want to really do.”

He said while looking forward to the future he was unsure how he would feel when he saw those he raced against riding the races he used to compete in.

“Because the Olympics is this year and there’s the what ifs and that still hangs over you. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when it’s on but I’m not missing it. I haven’t woken up in a sweat yet.

“It was something I wanted to do for fun and I was good at it so it was giving me a living. I just kept doing it and when I stopped making a living from it, I thought why the f**k am I doing this?

“Maybe that’s my mindset, it wasn’t bred into me to ride bikes.”