Cycling: Brailsford rejects top job offers to lead GB to Rio

Performance director opts to stay on after being excited by future prospect Barker

Dave Brailsford will remain in charge of Britain's Olympic team having turned down a number of offers to switch sports or even move into business.

As Britain's performance director, Brailsford has overseen the dramatic success of the last two Olympic Games, culminating in London's seven gold medals, and has been involved with the cycling team for four Games in all. He will continue to do so for a fifth in Rio in 2016 after considering his options since London.

His dual role as team manager of Team Sky is key to his decision to stay on, as is the emergence of yet another crop of talented youngsters – Brailsford described 18-year-old Elinor Barker's World Cup debut this weekend as "outstanding" – as the track team faces a period of change following the retirement of Victoria Pendleton, the impending end of Sir Chris Hoy's career and with a number of other track riders switching on to the road.

"I thought about it," said Brailsford of taking one of the "whole range of things in other sports and business" that were available to him. "You stop, assess things, work out what you want to do. That's a natural thing to do. It was the same after Beijing – you get a bit of success and people are interested, keen to know how you do it. Had I wished to change, I could've changed. If I wasn't enthusiastic I'd stop, because I don't need to do this. The moment I stop enjoying it I won't do it."

Brailsford has been a man in demand since London 2012 crowned a remarkable year that included overseeing Sky and Bradley Wiggins' historic success in the Tour de France. He has also had to deal with the fallout from the Lance Armstrong scandal that has seen Sky shed a number of key personnel thanks to the team's unwavering anti-doping stance. There is an acceptance that might harm them in the short term, but there will be no change of policy. "I'm very clear what we are doing and where we are going long term," said Brailsford.

Having returned to the track in Glasgow for the first time since the Olympics, a number of riders head to Australia on Tuesday for endurance training in Perth under the direction of head coach Shane Sutton.

It signals the start of an intense period of preparation for February's world championships in Minsk. The team were given the choice of easing back into what Brailsford acknowledges is a "tricky season" post-Games but chose instead to immerse themselves fully for the world championships, which will mean training across the Christmas period.

Laura Trott, identified by Brailsford as one of the new leaders of the squad, Becky James and Jess Varnish, the oldest of the three at 22, all enjoyed good performances in Glasgow but it was Barker's bow at this level that made the most impression on Brailsford.

"The way Elinor Barker rode is probably one of the best debuts I've seen in the senior ranks in the years I've been here – that was a very, very impressive ride," he said. "In the final [of the team pursuit] when she did a lap and a half turn [as Dani King struggled] – the decision-making and the confidence to do that at such a young age, in your first final ride, such a nip-and-tuck ride – that's Laura Trott territory. Very, very exciting."

Another 18-year-old, Jon Dibben, who impressed despite finishing outside the medals in the omnium, also stood out for Brailsford. Barker had been scheduled to ride in the next round of the World Cup in Mexico in January as part of the Welsh trade team but may yet find her focus diverted to Belarus a month later. Brailsford is currently assessing a post-Games review into the team's Olympic performance and preparation. It was conducted anonymously to give athletes and coaches the freedom to raise any concerns.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project