British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford has reflected on Great Britain’s most successful Olympic Games to date commenting on the team’s success as “quite remarkable”.
Since the historic medal haul in Beijing four years ago, the focus of attention has been on the Great Britain Cycling team in the lead up to this summer’s Games with analysts keen to see if they could repeat those performances. Eight gold medals later (over a quarter of all gold medals won by Team GB across every sport) they clearly proved that they have.
"It's been a very successful Games for us," Brailsford told the Press Association in a recent interview.
"The riders, the coaching staff and the support staff have done a brilliant job over the last four years. We peaked just at the right time once again - and that's no mean feat to follow up from Beijing and repeat. The team was under an awful lot of expectation coming into this Games, given the performance we put in in Beijing, and to be able to match that, with the same number of gold medals, is quite remarkable."
The team has now proved categorically, that it is not just a one hit wonder but that it can deliver a consistent high performance. Brailsford remarked on the impact that this has had on a whole nation who have been gripped by sport and just how well the nation can perform, particularly on the velodrome, where seven out of the eight medals were won.
"There's already a greater awareness now," he remarked. "People will be interested to see how young riders develop and continue their careers. In the last two weeks the whole nation has embraced sport, not just cycling, but every sport," Brailsford added.
"The country's got sports fever. Team GB across all sports has delivered - a record number of medals, third in the medal table. We should be very proud of what the entire team's done across all sports. People enjoy the success. The challenge is how do we continue to be successful.”
London was not only a chance to see consistent performances from riders who had delivered in Beijing but was also a display of new prodigious talents and Olympic Champions such as Laura Trott, Dani King and Philip Hindes. This clearly gives Brailsford some comfort looking ahead four years to the next games in Rio de Janiero.
Brailsford commented: "We've set ourselves a platform now to push on and build on.”
Brailsford continues, ending on a positive note for the future: "It's not the same as a start-up project. It's a mature model. The key thing is you keep challenging and developing it. This could be the start of something, rather than the end of something."
"We will figure out a structure that we believe can take the sport forward and give us the best possible chances of success in Rio and we'll implement that structure.”