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Oliva finding the right prescription for future.

Byline: DYLAN TERRY Cycling sport@walesonline.co.uk

HE'S a Commonwealth Games medallist who is currently soaking up the atmosphere at Six Day London - but Welsh rider Lewis Oliva has revealed he is going to step away from cycling to pursue a career in medicine.

Monmouthshire's Oliva powered to keirin silver on the Gold Coast and is currently the reigning British champion in the discipline.

With five national titles in all, many would believe the powerful sprinter to be well on his way to kick on even further in his career after an impressive 2018.

However, the 26-year-old has analysed his season and believes he will be leaving the sport at the very pinnacle of his career - but he has not ruled out a return to the track in the future.

Speaking at Six Day London, Oliva said: "I looked back on this season and thought 'wow this season is as good as it gets for me'.

"Add to the fact that I'm halfway through a medical degree at the minute and that's getting to the crunch point with exams, so I've decided to phase out cycling a little bit, focus on my studies, get through some pretty difficult exams in the next couple of years.

"And then when I graduate, who knows, I might be able to come back.

"But at the minute I'm just enjoying riding for fun, so I won't be doing any more international races, so this [week] is pretty much going to be the final race," he added.

Oliva claimed victory in the keirin on Day 3 of the competition in front of a home crowd this week and was delighted to cross the line ahead of the likes of former world champions Max Levy, Robert Forstemann and Shane Perkins.

And Oliva, married to fellow GB cyclist Ciara Oliva, acknowledged the support of the fans is something that will stay with him for a long time.

"It's good to finally get a win in London in front of a great crowd in a great race," he added. "To be up in the mix with the calibre of the guys that are here, it's brilliant.

"It's my retirement race as well so to be getting a win over those guys is extra special."

"Events like the Six Day London are what make you love your bike. The crowd want to be here, everyone's having a few beers, we've got some good tunes as well.

"We're working hard but it's made even better by the fact that it's pretty informal and chilled at the same time."

CAPTION(S):

Lewis Oliva celebrates what could be his final race at the Six Day London event ADAM DAVY/PA

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2018
Words:449
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