For some, retirement means rest and relaxation but Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Dani Rowe will take on the London Classics challenge in her first year of retirement from professional cycling.
The 28-year-old, who is one of the most famous British cyclists of her generation, will run the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 April, pedal the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4 August and swim the two miles at Swim Serpentine on Saturday 21 September to complete the iconic London Classics, the ultimate mass participation challenge.
Rowe said: “Having retired from professional cycling at the end of 2018, I wanted to challenge myself in different ways in 2019. Doing The London Classics is exactly the sort of challenge I was after and enables me to support some fantastic charities that are close to my heart.
“I know the Virgin Money London Marathon and Swim Serpentine are going to be especially challenging for me, having not run or swam since I was a teen, but I can’t wait to be on that start line in April with tens of thousands of others simply enjoying and soaking up the experience of one of the world’s greatest mass participation events.”
Rowe will be competing the three legs of the London Classics to raise money for three different charities, namely Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The British Heart Foundation, and Bloodwise.
Rowe retired from professional cycling in December 2018 after an illustrious career. She won three World Championship gold medals (2011, 2012, 2013) and an Olympic gold medal (2012) in the team pursuit on the track before switching her focus to road racing.
On the road, she raced for some of the sport’s biggest teams including Wiggle-Honda and WaowDeals Pro Cycling. Her final year in the professional peloton turned out to be the most successful of all. She won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games road race and secured podium places at both the Asda Tour de Yorkshire and OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events, said “We’re delighted Dani has chosen to take on the UK’s ultimate mass participation challenge in the first year of her retirement and that she has chosen to support three wonderful causes as she does this. We look forward to presenting her with the special London Classics medal and welcoming her to the London Classics Hall of Fame on 21 September.”
A total of 1,398 people have now completed the London Classics and are listed in the Hall of Fame. The first Olympian to complete the London Classics was double Olympic rowing champion Heather Stannard in September 2017.