Chris Boardman says Sir Dave Brailsford needs to decide between GB and Sky roles
Former world and Olympic champion says national team needs full-time boss
Former world and Olympic champion Chris Boardman says that Sir Dave Brailsford needs to make his mind up over whether to remain involved with the Great Britain team or to devote himself exclusively to Team Sky.
Boardman’s comments follow a UCI Track World Championships in Colombia in which the country won just two gold medals – the lowest return since 2006 – and five medals in total. No male rider secured a medal, the first time that has happened since 1998.
Since Team Sky made its debut in 2010, Brailsford has been combined his role as team principal at the UCI World Tour outfit with that of performance director at British Cycling, a position he has held since 2003.
Last month, he said that following the track worlds, which he did not attend, he would reconsider his role at British Cycling, widely interpreted as meaning that he would reduce his focus on the national team.
Brailsford, who oversaw Great Britain’s dominance of the Olympic track events at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, said that Team Sky’s stature after back-to-back successes in the Tour de France was “like having an Olympic Games every year.”
Speaking of his role with Great Britain, he said: "The thing that I am concerned about is to make sure that the Great Britain cycling team is in the best possible shape going into Rio.
"If I was occupying a certain space, but for whatever reason I didn't feel like I was optimising what I could do, then I would change my role.
"It is nothing drastic. It is just a question of continually managing and evolving the situation,” added Brailsford, who said it was easier to step away from some of his duties at British Cycling due to the strength in depth in the coaching side there.
But Boardman, head of research and development at British Cycling up until the 2012 Olympics and now its policy advisor, says that the national team needs a chief who is fully devoted to the role.
"I'm not sure about an overhaul, but it needs a boss,” he told Press Association sport, quoted on Orange.co.uk.
“I believe Dave's making a decision on what he's going to do, but it needs a full-time boss.
"Dave would clearly be the best full-time boss, but if he's not going to do that, it might be better if somebody else comes in and takes the reins.
"He's such a character, if he's still there it's difficult for people to go in and take command, but it needs somebody like him.
"Shane [Sutton] is great, a good second in command, but perhaps not the person to be the big boss,” he continued.
"British Cycling's in a period a period of change now. Still got some fantastic ingredients, some great athletes, got some great people working for them.
"The potential is all still there. It just might need somebody to pull it all together."
While Great Britain’s performance in Cali, which Boardman commentated on for the BBC, was disappointing, the 1992 Olympic individual pursuit champion said that needn’t be a major cause for concern with the Rio Games still two years away.
"If you look at the curve in the last eight years there's always a two-year lull in the middle,” he explained.
"When you win things, you get lots of distractions, the hunger goes a little bit, you get a good kicking, that gives you back your incentive - the fear of loss.
"It's part of a cycle and I don't think there's any reason to be massively concerned for Rio yet.
"It's not like the rest of the world has gone massively faster, it's the British team that's slowed down, so you know the potential is there.
"They've lost a couple of key names in Vicky [Pendleton] and Chris [Hoy]. I think that's being felt,” he added.
"They're not a million miles away, but they're behind the curve in every male event. They're just missing an edge.
"If you were concerned about anything, it's the fact they're finding it difficult to pinpoint and haven't seen it coming into the event," Boardman concluded.