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Talk of ‘rider revolt’

Great Britain’s men’s endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel was this week escorted from the Manchester velodrome amid claims of a rider revolt. The Telegraph reports that British Cycling has failed to confirm that he has been sacked, but goes on to suggest that this is only because the matter is with the two parties’ lawyers.

Salzwedel, who coached Sir Bradley Wiggins and team-mates to Olympic gold in Rio, is said to have been told that it is standard human resources procedure to escort a dismissed member of staff off the premises.

He had been expecting to travel to Berlin next week for the European Track Championships.

There are rumours of a “rider revolt” and Salzwedel has certainly clashed with prominent riders in the past.

There was a row with team pursuit reserve Mark Cavendish at the Olympics and the rider has since said that he resented the way Salzwedel kept pushing him to commit more time to the track squad, wondering out loud whether he was wise to try and go for the Tour de France yellow jersey, Olympic gold and the road world title that year.

In contrast, Wiggins said that he would not have returned to the track had it not been for Salzwedel. “Heiko is like Louis van Gaal or one of those other experienced European managers. He has his philosophy and he sticks to it.”

The respect was mutual. Salzwedel explained that “the real thing that triggered [my return] was when Shane[Sutton] mentioned that Bradley Wiggins wants me. Of course you are kind of flattered. Shane played it quite well, actually."

Salzwedel returned for a third stint at British Cycling in October 2014 following a dip in performances after the London 2012 Olympics.

He was previously part of the coaching staff between 2000 and 2002 and then served as performance manager from 2008 to 2012.

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