OLYMPIC cycling hero Chris Hoy is swapping saddles for stunning sandy beaches with a new luxury holiday home in Brazil.
The Edinburgh quadruple gold medallist is treating himself to a beachfront boutique at Laguna Beach in Natal, on the northeastern coast of South America.
The Scots biker, 32, plans to visit his £220,000 one-bedroom place in the sun at least once a year with his lawyer girlfriend Sarra Kemp, 28.
Hoy said: “My life consists of a gruelling daily training schedule and when you couple that with all the travel, the competition and my other engagements, I need somewhere special to go and relax.
“At Laguna Beach I think I will have found that place.
“I heard about Brazil after some of the guys came back from the BMX Championships which were held there last year and they were raving about it.
“I did some research and decided to dip my toe in the water.”
He’ll continue to rent his two-bedroom flat in Scotland’s capital, along with another rented apartment in Manchester where he trains in the city’s velodrome.
Hoy’s intense schedule involves spending five months of the year abroad, so even without the credit crunch he wouldn’t be buying a home in the UK.
He added: “I’m going to sit tight and see what happens. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up a bargain in a few months’ time.
“Brazil’s year-round warm climate means I can go there at any time to fit in with my training schedule.
“The UK market is shaky so it’s appealing to invest somewhere where prices are going up rather than down.
“I’m no expert on property but I think the great thing is that you can see exactly where your money has gone.”