British Cycling has said that it is not prepared to speculate on the role to be undertaken by Dave Brailsford following this summer’s Olympic Games, after press reports last week suggested that the Great Britain performance director, who masterminded the country’s haul of eight gold medals at Beijing 2008, was looking to share his role after London 2012. Taken together with recent statements by Brailsford himself, however, it does appear that some reshuffling at the top of British Cycling is on the cards after the Games.
Since Beijing, Brailsford’s already busy worlkload has of course been added to by his involvement with Team Sky, where he is Team Principal, and earlier this week the 48-year-old told the Daily Mail that he was looking for someone else to help share the burden.
“The growth of cycling's enormous and there's only so much I can do in a day,” he said. “'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.”
Speaking of his combined role with Team Sky, now in it’s third season, and British Cycling, he continued: “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.”
In a statement released on Friday afternoon, British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said: “Dave Brailsford has been at the heart of the successes for British cyclists, with both GB Cycling Team and Team Sky. 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,” he added.
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.