Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 11:35am

Sky's the limit: British Cycling chief Sir Dave Brailsford quits role to concentrate on pro team

Sky's the limit: British Cycling chief Sir Dave Brailsford quits role to concentrate on pro team

| By Amy Lofthouse

Sir Dave Brailsford, the mastermind behind Team GB’s unrivalled Olympic cycling successes over the last decade, has stepped down as performance director at British Cycling.

The 50-year-old, who is based at Manchester Velodrome, is set to concentrate on his role at Team Sky after ten years as head of British Cycling.

His departure was confirmed this morning by British Cycling who announced widespread changes to its management team.

Shane Sutton has been appointed Technical Director with responsibility for rider performance, while Andy Harrison will continue as Programmes Director with responsibility for the running of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s development programmes.

During his tenure, Sir Dave led Britain to numerous victories at the Olympics, most notably at London 2012 where British cyclist claimed 12 medals overall.

He said: “This is a big step but it is the right decision for the team and for me.

“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 to Ian, Shane and Andy 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."

In 2010 Sir Dave took on joint duties when he became manager of Team Sky. He played a crucial role in Sir Bradley Wiggins’ and Chris Froome’s victories in the 2012 and 2013 Tour de France.

He was named BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year in 2012 for the second time before being knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours.

Sir Dave has been highly praised for the changes he made to British Cycling in 2010, most notably the introduction of a forensic psychiatrist.

He drafted in Steve Peters, a former worker at Rampton hospital, to help riders mentally prepare for the big events ahead.

But this morning it was announced that Peters will step down, given his commitment to other teams and sports, and will support the development and implementation of a new support system for the team in this area before his departure.

Sir Dave has also become well known for his philosophy of 'the aggregation of marginal gains', the term used to describe the team’s ethic of constantly finding a 1% margin for improvement in each task.

He has proved so influential that he has been asked to address England’s footballers prior to the World Cup in June.

Team GB have taken somewhat of a backwards step in the last few months.

They performed below their expectations at the track world championships in Cali, achieving five medals where in 2013 they had topped the medal table with nine.

Sir Dave was not present at the Championships due to his commitments with Team Sky.

Team Sky, based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, was established in 2010 with the primary aim of creating the first British winner of the Tour de France, something they achieve when Sir Bradley stood atop the podium in Paris just before the London 2012 success.

Picture courtesy of Groupe Messager, with thanks.