Wong Kam-po bows out of cycling after two decades at the top
Veteran Wong Kam-po said he has no regrets about calling time on his 20-year-plus cycling career, as he finished his last competitive race in the Tour of Taihu in Jiangsu yesterday.
Wong, who will turn 40 in March, said he had gained much more than he had lost as a professional rider.
"I have little to complain about," said Wong. "I had the support of a lot people for so many years so I could achieve a lot of good results. I have also learned a lot through the sport. Absolutely, I have no regrets. In fact, Hong Kong already has a strong contingent of up-and-comers to take up the baton.
"I still need to consult my coach over my future and will take a long holiday before deciding my next step."
Coach Shen Jinkang, who has worked with Wong since 1994, has already said it is time for the cyclist to move on, and a coaching role would seem appropriate for Wong to help the next generation of Hong Kong riders.
Wong won an unprecedented three Asian Games individual road race gold medals in 1998, 2006 and 2010. He was the track world champion in the men's scratch race at the 2007 World Championships and competed in five Olympics.
Wong came 45th overall in the 1,000-kilometre Taihu Tour after eight stages, well behind youngsters such as Choi Ki-ho, who came third overall, Cheung King-lok, fourth, and 24th-placed Yeung Ying-hon.
"Wong is always the leader of the team and we will definitely miss him when he is not with us anymore," said Choi. "His experience and his attitude is always a model for the younger generation to learn from."
Choi was 15 seconds behind the orange jersey winner Milan Kadlec of the Czech Republic, while Cheung was two seconds further back. Second place went to Dutch rider Floris Goesinnen.