The 25-year-old Welsh athlete made the announcement on Twitter last week, stating how she has achieved her dreams after giving 100 per cent to track sprint racing.
Thirteen years in the sport began at the Abergavenny Road Club in Monmouthshire; national successes set the stage for her international debut at the European Track Championships in 2009, where she won gold medals in the sprint and 500m time trial events and silver in the keirin.
The subsequent UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championship saw the star continue to rise with more podium finishes and a new world record for the flying 200m.
James marked the start of her professional career with a bronze medal in the 500m TT track race and silver in the sprint track race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She joined the British cycling team at the London Olympics 2012, gaining experience that would enable her to become a double gold world champion in Minsk a year later.
In 2016 James stepped onto the podium twice at the Rio Olympics to collect silver medals in the keirin and sprint events. Her achievements stand out all the more for frequent struggles against injury.
“The pressure of competing at the top can be mentally and physically draining, but the rewards have been incredible and I have absolutely no regrets! I now want to enjoy my life without a strict training regime, while at the same time continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle in both body and mind.”
But her dreams have been achieved, she says, and new exciting career beckons for life beyond the pressures of professional athletics.
“For a long time I’ve had a passion for baking and have loved making special wedding and birthday cakes for friends and family. I’ve had great feedback from those who’ve enjoyed my cakes or seen my Instagram @bakedbybecks, and it’s my intention to now pursue this passion as a business, along with some exciting other projects going forward.”
“Cycling has always been the main focus of my life and will continue to be a big part of it. I will still be an active member of Abergavenny Road Club and I will look to pass some of the knowledge I have acquired over the years to help young riders achieve their dreams,” she adds.