Brailsford: Team Sky need a permanent home

And could that house a women's squad too?

by Sarah Barth   September 17, 2012  

Dave Brailsford CBE

Team Sky need a spiritual home similar to those of football teams, says the team's general manager Dave Brailsford.

And in a strong hint that pleas for a similarly well-funded and supported women's team might be finally recognised, he described women's cycling as "potentially an area where we could do something.”

“You can go to Chelsea, and see their shop, and see their stadium,” Brailsford told the Telegraph.

“You can’t go and see Team Sky, or Rabobank – not that you’d want to see Rabobank.

"It’s time that we came together and had a coaching base, similar to what we’ve had in British cycling, where you pull together expertise in a single location. We’re trying to create a home where people can come and see Team Sky.”

And with the collapse of women's team AA Drink - Leontien.nl, which boasted Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley and Sharon Laws, perhaps Sky will step into the breach to save them - after all, Pooley has already spoken about retiring in the face of the funding crisis.

Brailsford said: “As it currently exists, you’ve got Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell and Dani King, then you’ve got three or four very good Welsh riders, including Lucy Garner, and that’s where there is something to be done.

"There’s a development model, and we’ve identified it as potentially an area where we could do something.”

 

16 user comments

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Far be it for me to suggest what Mr Brailsford's/SKY priorities should be (and a more information/detail of the thinking behind this article would be welcome) but based on this snippet, it seems to me that a creating a viable GB based women's team is a far more important/critical issue to cycling generally (and women's cycle sport/British Cycling in particular) than an office/kit shop for the SKY men's team.

Sudor

posted by Sudor [180 posts]
17th September 2012 - 10:20

2 Likes

A central training/admin, probably including the service course makes a lot of sense. It would also make setting up a women's team easier as the infrastructure would be in place.

The only down side is that the logical place for such a base is somewhere like Girona, Nice or Tenerife, where there is access to long training climbs, good training weather for most of the year and it is close to where a lot of pros are already based.

A UK base for a UK based Pro Conti team (Endura, RaphaCondor etc) makes a lot of sense, but for a pro tour team like Sky, the UK isn't the best place to be.

posted by chinchli [31 posts]
17th September 2012 - 10:39

3 Likes

Is the first indication, despite assurances to the contrary, that Manchester will slowly loose British Cycling/ Sky Pro Cycling to London?

posted by Some Fella [749 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:00

3 Likes

Once Rapha are officially selling team kit next year SKY will have a 'shop' in London at the Rapha CC place.

http://www.rapha.cc/london-1-2

posted by seanbolton [136 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:18

4 Likes

“You can’t go and see Team Sky, or Rabobank – not that you’d want to see Rabobank.

Ah, so that's where Cav's headed, is it Dave Wink

Doctor Fegg's picture

posted by Doctor Fegg [134 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:45

5 Likes

Unlike Brailsford to have narrow ambitions, but it would appear that women's road racing does not appear in his focus. So there is room for Virgin to sponsor Women's cycling if they wanted to. Virgin cycling (I really hate that name) could base itself in Manchester or London (passably Newcastle but there is no track there)whichever Dave choices not to base Sky at in the future.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:48

4 Likes

As noted by Some Fella, this feels rather like a London-related pre-announcement to me.

Would be good to see them step up for the women though.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3116 posts]
17th September 2012 - 11:56

3 Likes

Does a Uk team need to be based at a track, Manchester or london...no...but it doesn give ti a home like a stadium.

Theres more than a hint that the pringle will become the home of Sky especially when it needs a sponsor as a building anyway....the Sky Velodrome?

As for basing a UK Pro-Tour team in teh UK..well, it doesnt actually need the service course to be here or the riders, just good offices, communications and transport links....London then.

Commercially it all makes sense.

As for any links of this to a womens team, an established base would be better in as far as a seperate one from the BC base at Manchester. DB has been crying to get away from the BC team and concentrate on the Sky team for a while now so this seperation in offices would give the clean break that is required and allow a womens team to co-exist so his time had additional commercial value.

Makes good business, commercial, geographical and sporting sense.

Will it happen??????

posted by Farky [179 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:06

3 Likes

He is a bit of a visionary isn't he? Hats off to the guy, he even manages to sneak in a bit of humour about the dullest team on earth, Rabobank Smile It would be great if it was up North, but until the City and the Eurozone and the Channel Tunnel collapse it is probably better from a financial/marketing perspective down at the velodrome in London.

theclaw's picture

posted by theclaw [75 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:25

4 Likes

London is probably the best place now but what about Derby? Track by 2014, central in UK with good transport links and excellent training nearby.
Nice 2 bed semi for rent once fence painted today as well:-)

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [444 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:39

3 Likes

Isnt Mr Brailsford origionally from the outskirts of Derby too? and the current CEO Ian Drake is just a stones throw away too ....

posted by scrapper [60 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:52

2 Likes

Brailsford is from North Wales i think. I picked up a local paper whilst i was in Anglessey recently and they were claiming him for their own boyo.

posted by Some Fella [749 posts]
17th September 2012 - 13:30

3 Likes

Its pretty much what 1t4a came up with last year isn't it?

posted by euanlindsay [77 posts]
17th September 2012 - 14:19

4 Likes

Although Lord Brailsford is integral to Team GB, let's not forget that Team Sky is a commercial team not unlike Team West Ham or Team Arsenal, and if that commercial team want a base somewhere then that is their business, not national interest.

The real question is how would DB's involvement with Team GB be effected if Sky set up shop away from Manchester, and how much of the positive feedback loop between the Sky and Team GB rosters would be lost?

Tangentially, it's interesting that DB should have a light swipe at Rabobank as they have a Continental and Cyclo-cross team as well as the Pro-Tour team that we usually think of. That's all paid for by the main sponsor. Is Murdoch going to pay for a full-time Sky Continental team plus possibly a women's team and maybe a BMX team, all to be based around the Olympic venues, or will Sky continue to profit from British Cycling's long-term investment in young talent?

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
17th September 2012 - 16:39

3 Likes

Lizzie Armistead spoke about funding a womens team on The Cycle Show a few weeks ago, when Jeff Banks was also on. She said they only needed £450k to keep the team going - she was doing a very good job of talking it up and offered it to JB, who graciously declined. JB said he puts £10k a year into Catford CC as that was where he started cycling - he made a good point about businessmen not buying a new cars so often and putting the money into local sport instead.

posted by amazon22 [151 posts]
17th September 2012 - 19:00

3 Likes

£400k per annum reported a year or two back to keep the Olympic velodrome running post Games. That will be the legacy. Hard to not see this as the pre-amble to Sky's home ground being the London Velodrome. To be honest as long as British Cycling stays in Manchester I can't say it would be a bad thing. Certainly preferable to one or other of the national tracks slowly dying.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [390 posts]
17th September 2012 - 21:52

3 Likes