Sir Dave Brailsford reportedly having "serious doubts" on publishing autobiography

Architect of Sky and Team GB said to be reluctant to share secrets of success

by Simon_MacMichael   October 14, 2013  

Dave Brailsford faces the press, Paris, October 2012 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Sir Dave Brailsford, architect of Team GB’s Olympic success as well as back-to-back Tour de France wins for Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, is said to be having “serious doubts” over whether to publish his autobiography, due out next year.

The book, called What It Takes, is due to be come out next year, and Mail Online reports that Brailsford’s agents as well as publishers Penguin expect it to be released as scheduled.

But according to Mail Online, “Brailsford is having serious doubts about whether he wants his life story and super successful strategies to be published any time in the near future, citing ‘personal reasons’ when asked about the delay.”

The success of Team GB’s cyclists at Beijing in 2008 and again at London last year as well as Wiggins’ Tour de France win last year saw Brailsford receiving offers both from other sports and the world of business.

Prospective employers were attracted by his record in planning for and achieving success, but Brailsford confirmed in November however that he had rejected those approaches and would continue to lead the Great Britain cycling team until at least the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

His reported reticence in making public his winning recipe does not appear to be shared by others who have been involved in British Cycling and Team Sky, however.

Rod Ellingworth, Great Britain’s elite head coach and performance manager at Team Sky, has just published his autobiography, co-written with William Fotheringham.

The book, Project Rainbow – How British Cycling Reached the Top of the World, focuses on the successful campaign to make Mark Cavendish road world champion, the Manxman winning the rainbow jersey at Copenhagen in 2011.

Next June sees the publication of Chris Boardman’s autobiography by Ebury Press. The former world and Olympic champion and wearer of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France headed up the R&D department – nicknamed the Secret Squirrel Club – at British Cycling in the run-up to London 2012.

Sean Yates, who was sports director at Team Sky until leaving a year ago citing health and family reasons - coincidentally, at the same time as Bobby Julich and Stephen De Jongh left its management in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal - has recently brought out his autobiography, It’s All About The Bike, which includes his insider’s account of the rivalry between Wiggins and Froome at last year’s Tour de France.

While Brailsford may be reticent about revealing his secrets, one short e-book that came out earlier this year has attempted to find out what makes him tick; Mastermind: How Dave Brailsford Reinvented the Wheel, written by journalist and author Richard Moore, and available for £2.99 from Amazon.co.uk.

5 user comments

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Sean Yates book was ill-advised, to say the least (and that's from a life-long fan of his)

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
14th October 2013 - 15:32

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I wonder what the personnel concerns are if giving out his strategy and way of doing things to other teams is not?

posted by jarredscycling [445 posts]
14th October 2013 - 16:02

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So the Daily Mail say that he's having serious doubts about revealing his secrets to success. Meanwhile, he says he having doubts for 'personal reasons'. Given the mail's record for accurate reporting, is there any reason to doubt that it's due to, you know, persnal reasons?!

Maybe Project Rainbow needs to go on the Christmas list.

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

posted by notfastenough [3108 posts]
14th October 2013 - 16:51

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Sim1 wrote:
Sean Yates book was ill-advised, to say the least (and that's from a life-long fan of his)

Why ? I read it and I found it excellent, it didn't really give any secrets away, perhaps Brad throwing a fit and threatening to leave the tour, I don't see why it was ill-advised ?

posted by mikeprytherch [217 posts]
14th October 2013 - 17:03

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Good on him.
Firstly its none of anyone's business why he doesn't want to publish now. Secondly I bet he would make a mint by doing so . Holding off either shows some morals or he is clever enough to keep us waiting and pay more!

posted by mattsccm [248 posts]
14th October 2013 - 19:12

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