Racing News

British Cycling chief executive “won’t speculate” on Brailsford’s future role

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake  “won’t speculate” on Dave Brailsford’s future role after the national governing body’s performance director hinted he is likely to review his position after this summer’s Olympic Games.

Dave Brailsford currently splits his time between Team Sky British Cycling

Brailsford has masterminded Great Britain’s cycling renaissance, guiding the track team to seven gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, while Nicole Cooke also won the women’s road race in the Chinese capital.

Team Sky was subsequently launched in 2010 and Brailsford has since split his time between the WorldTour team and preparing for London 2012 in his role at British Cycling.

But Brailsford revealed he is likely to lighten his workload once the Games have left London, while keeping a steady hand on the tiller at a strategic level.

“The growth of cycling’s enormous and there’s only so much I can do in a day,” said Brailsford, who also has overall responsibility for British Cycling’s mountain biking and BMX programmes.

“There’s no doubt about it that with all of the responsibilities that I have it’s difficult to maintain the same level of detail across the entire British programme.

“I think we’re all of an agreement that it would make sense for my role, or my job description, to shift slightly, but we’ll review that after the Games.

“I’ve worked extremely hard for the last four years at both. I think now it’s time to recognise that in order to get British Cycling in the best shape possible for the four years building into Rio we could probably change it and make it a bit more manageable. I think that’s the right thing to do.

“The key thing is I want to maintain a strong link and involvement with British Cycling, it’s just possibly a subtle change to some of my responsibilities, maybe delegate some of the more day-to-day operational stuff and still be involved at the strategic management level.”

Brailsford’s split role will see the 48-year-old quickly turn his attention from the Tour de France to the Games in July, with the men’s Olympic road race set to take place less than a week after the final stage into Paris.

And, in a statement released on Friday in response to Brailsford’s comments, Drake underlined the importance of the link between Team Sky and the Olympic programme.

Drake said: “Dave Brailsford has been at the heart of the successes for British cyclists, with both [the] GB cycling team and Team Sky,” said Drake. “Part of the reason we have had this continued success is that we always look to develop and build on our knowledge and experience.

“After London 2012 it is likely that the GB team structure will evolve and we have been talking to Dave and others about this.

“The planning phase for a new Olympic and Paralympic cycle is the right time to consider this. We are already working with UK Sport on our performance plans for Rio 2016 and looking at how to best manage the GB cycling team and maintain our status on the world stage.

“As the planning process with UK Sport runs through to the end of the year, details will not be clear for some time. Ahead of that we won’t speculate on Dave’s role or indeed other structural changes.

“One thing we can confirm is that the integral link between Team Sky and British Cycling will remain; it has already proved its value and is an essential part of our elite performance and wider vision of providing ‘inspiration to participation’.

“For now, our priority is London 2012 and ensuring our riders reach the Games in the best possible shape and everyone within the team is fully focused on that.”

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