Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling, has told road.cc that he believes Team GB’s cyclists can overcome a £500,000 cut in funding from UK Sport and achieve success at the London Olympics in 2012.
We reported at the weekend that UK Sport had cut funding to a number of key Olympic sports including cycling, a decision that was attacked by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford, who said that the decision ran the risk of turning the 2012 Olympics into the “have a go games.”
But Drake is philosophical about the reduction in funding, particularly when viewed as part of the broader picture, telling road.cc: “While cycling has seen a reduction in funding from our original award, we understand UK Sport's decision in relation to the wider sporting landscape, the level of available funding and the wider obligations of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.”
He added, “The decision will impact on us, however, we are confident we can adapt to it and deliver strong outcomes within the available resources. We are getting on with the job of preparing our athletes and we will find a way to minimise the effect of the reduction in financial backing on their performance.”
“We continue working with UK Sport towards our collective goals and we hope that the investment decisions that have been made will deliver medals in London 2012 across all funded sports,” he concluded.
Despite the reduction in funding, the amount of money awarded to cycling between 2009 and 2013 still stands at £26.39m, a figure that is the envy of other sports, although to justify that income, the nations’s cyclists will be expected to emulate their outstanding performance that saw them win nine of Team GB’s 17 gold medals at Beijing last year.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.