Cycling: Olympian Rebecca Petch drops BMX to chase more track medals after Birmingham Commonwealth Games success

Olympic racer Rebecca Petch has stepped away from her BMX career to concentrate on her newfound love for track cycling at Paris 2024.

Petch, 24, contested the small-wheel format at Tokyo last year, finishing 12th, but enjoyed even more success at this year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games, where she was recruited to the women's sprint team that captured gold at the Lee Valley VeloPark.  

Her new combination with Olivia King and Ellesse Andrews holds the potential for further international success, so Petch has shelved her BMX aspirations.

"BMX has been a big part of my life for 21 years," she posted on Instagram. "The last seven years of that, I have put everything into becoming the best athlete I can be.

"Just recently, I have found another passion for track cycling. I have been faced with a hard decision on what set of wheels I want to pursue moving forward.

"Realistically, to be able to perform my best at a high level, I need to make the call to dedicate myself to one. This decision has not come lightly and is definitely one of the hardest ones I've had to make.

"I have decided to step away from BMX racing and look to explore track cycling more, and am excited for the new challenges ahead of me!"

Petch, King and Andrews set a Commonwealth Games record of 47.841s in qualifying at Birmingham, and then shattered it again with 47.425s, beating a powerful Canadian team in the final.

She also finished fourth in the 500m time trial and contested the individual sprint, where she was eliminated by Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell of Canada in the 1/8 finals.

The experience opened her eyes to the possibilities, with teammate Andrews establishing herself as one of the world's top up-and-coming talents.

"I will miss BMX being a big part of my life, but you'll still catch me down at the track, having a cheeky play session when I can."