Former world cycling track champion Martyn Irvine has announced that he is to come out of retirement.

In 2013, the Newtonards man made history by winning the scratch race gold medal at the world championships in Minsk, as well as securing silver in the individual pursuit.

However, the 31-year-old called time on his career last January after struggling to find his form and missing out on a place at the Rio Olympics, but told RTÉ Sport's Rio 2016 Tonight  programme that he has had a change of heart. 

He said: "I'm going off to do a bit of cycling. Hopefully next year I'll be back racing in anger on the roads.

"My hand was forced this year to kind of stop and I thought, 'Why not take a break as well?'.

"It turns out I actually like cycling." 

Asked if he will return to track cycling, he added: "Never say never, it's nearly a blood sport the way I used to ride it. I always said it took a year off my life, every race I did.

"So I'll not envy going back to the track but I wouldn't say no."