Hugely influential performance director leaves British Cycling

Sir Dave Brailsford plumps for Team Sky

Sir David Brailsford will no longer be juggling his time between British Cycling and Team Sky.

Brailsford is stepping down as British Cycling’s Performance Director in order to concentrate fully on his role with Team Sky as Team Principle. He’ll still be on hand for help and advice and will continue to support the GB Cycling Team road programme through those strong links between the two.

It is probably hard to overstate Sir Dave’s impact on the Great Britain Cycling Team, and probably the nation’s view of the sport.

“Firstly, I want to thank Sir Dave Brailsford for his enormous contribution to British Cycling – the organisation he leaves behind is transformed from the one we both joined in 1998," said British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake.

“In that time the Great Britain Cycling Team has not only set the standard by which British sporting success is judged but also inspired millions of people to get active through cycling."

Steve Peters is leaving too, stepping down as the team’s psychiatrist due to his commitment to other teams and sports, and will support the development and implementation of a new support system for the team in this area before he leavs.

Shane Sutton has been appointed technical director with responsibility for rider performance, while Andy Harrison will continue as programmes director with responsibility for the running of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s development programmes. Both will report to British Cycling chief exec Ian Drake, while a new role of Head of Performance Support will be created to strengthen the senior team and who will work closely with Sutton and Harrison.

Drake added: “I also want to thank Steve Peters for his contribution to our medal success over the years – his support for athletes and the team has been groundbreaking and the foundations he has put in place will continue to shape the programme and its culture in the future.

“Both Sir Dave and Steve took leading roles in the review and recognised the systems that they have helped put in place mean they can both step away from the team, certain it will be in good hands.

“The changes we are announcing today are in response to a simple question which has guided the team since lottery funding was introduced – what will give us the best chance of winning gold medals?

“In Shane and Andy, I’m confident we have the right management team to take us into Rio and beyond. The sport of cycling in this country has travelled a long way in the last few years but the best is yet to come.”

Sir Dave Brailsford said: “This is a big step but it is the right decision for the team and for me.

“Since London 2012, we have worked hard on succession planning and that has meant we’ve got to a point where I can move on, knowing the team will go from strength to strength.

“I’ll still be available to Ian, Shane and Andy for support if they need it and my role at Team Sky will mean we’ll still work closely and support the aims of British Cycling.

“I’d like to thank all the great staff who I’ve worked with and of course the amazing athletes who ultimately deserve all the credit for their success.

“I have some extraordinary memories – not just from Olympic Games and World Championships but also just day to day seeing cycling go from a fringe activity to a mainstream sport.

“I’ve always said that, more than any of the medals, the transformation of cycling in Britain is the single thing I’m most proud of having helped achieve.”

Steve Peters said: “It has been an amazing 10 or so years and I consider myself fortunate to have been part of a team which has achieved such great things.

“However, I think the time is right for a change and I look forward to seeing the team prosper.”

British Cycling President Bob Howden said: “Sir Dave and Steve Peters leave British Cycling with the thanks of everyone here. While he would be the first to direct credit to the riders, Sir Dave deserves all the praise that has come his way.

“The sport of cycling is better for Sir Dave and Steve being involved in it and we all look forward to even more success for both of them.

“Sir Dave will continue to help us achieve our goals through Team Sky by inspiring people to ride and supporting British riders.”

British Cycling Technical Director Shane Sutton said: “I’ve massively enjoyed working with Sir Dave over the years and we’ll continue to work with him at Team Sky as it will remain a natural home for some of our elite male riders.

“He leaves a big hole but we have a fantastic system in place from playground to club to podium with a great team throughout the organisation and I am very confident looking ahead to Rio.

“Andy and I know we can always pick up the phone to Sir Dave but in the meantime we are looking forward to getting on with the business of winning medals and working with an exciting generation of talented British cyclists.”

PIC CREDIT: British Cycling

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