Sir Dave Brailsford: British Cycling performance director credited with successes at 2008 and 2012 Olympics steps down to focus on Team Sky

Brailsford has overseen Great Britain's most successful ever period in cycling but will now focus on his Team Sky and Tour de France commitments

Sir Dave Brailsford has stood down as head of British Cycling, ending one of the country’s most successful sporting tenures. The 50-year-old Welshman has decided to focus exclusively on his role in charge of Team Sky as they seek a hat-trick of Tour de France titles this summer.

Brailsford oversaw a decade of unprecedented success for British Cycling, including winning eight gold medals at the Beijing and London Olympics. Allied to his success in creating Team Sky and then steering Bradley Wiggins to Britain’s first yellow jersey and then Chris Froome to another last year, it has established Brailsford as one of this country’s leading sporting figures.

But the demands of juggling his performance director’s post with being principal at Sky has finally proved too much. Britain’s men struggled through a grim track world championships in Colombia, the worst of his time in charge. Brailsford did not make the trip to Cali and Shane Sutton, his longtime No 2 and now his successor, was forced to defend Brailsford’s role.

Britain’s failure at the worlds led to British Cycling conducting an internal review and Brailsford has decided to concentrate on his role with Sky – there remains a sizeable crossover between the two organisations – with Sutton taking on the role of preparing the national team for the Rio Games two years from now.

“This is a big step but it is the right decision for the team and for me,” said Brailsford. “Since London 2012, we have worked hard on succession planning and that has meant we’ve got to a point where I can move on, knowing the team will go from strength to strength.

“I’ll still be available for support if they need it and my role at Team Sky will mean we’ll still work closely and support the aims of British Cycling.”

Sutton, formerly head coach, has been appointed Technical Director while a new Head of Performance Support will be sought to assist Sutton. Steve Peters will also step down as the team’s psychiatrist. Peters, another key figure, has been gradually cutting his workload at the Manchester Velodrome as he takes on more opportunities elsewhere, notably with Liverpool and England. A statement from British Cycling said Peters will “support the development and implementation of a new support system for the team in this area before his departure.”

One of Brailsford’s strengths was the appointments he made around him, although a number of key men have left since London. Matt Parker went to work with Stuart Lancaster, an acknowledged admirer of Brailsford’s methods, at the Rugby Football Union and Dan Hunt joined the Premier League – although Hunt has already been linked with the new position back at British Cycling. There has been the increasing sense of looming change at British Cycling, and the end of an incredible era, with Sutton saying that he felt the set-up needed freshening up and suggesting a more “hands-off” role for himself.

They are huge shoes to fill.  Brailsford joined British Cycling in 1997 and took over as performance director when Peter Keen, who was to oversee UK Sport’s successful blueprint for the London Games, left in 2003. It was Brailsford who appointed Peters and along with Sutton the trio revolutionised the sport and made Britain the world’s track cycling powerhouse through the likes of Chris Hoy and Wiggins.

The success continued with Sky, overcoming a difficult first year, to see Wiggins take yellow in 2012 – Brailsford’s recruitment of Tim Kerrison, an Australian swimming coach, to work with Wiggins was another example of his unique ability to spot talents that could be transferred to his sport. Froome is set to lead the bid for a third win in this year’s Tour which begins in Yorkshire and with Sky’s focus also broadening across the road season it has become impossible for Brailsford to juggle the two top jobs in British cycling any longer.

“I have some extraordinary memories – not just from Olympic Games and World Championships but also just day to day seeing cycling go from a fringe activity to a mainstream sport,” said Brailsford. “I’ve always said that, more than any of the medals, the transformation of cycling in Britain is the single thing I’m most proud of having helped achieve.”

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering