Published: 4 November 2013
By Scott Hobro
Audio: Simon Powers
British Cycling Performance Director Sir Dave Brailsford is pleased with Great Britain’s efforts at the Manchester UCI Track Cycling World Cup and believes athletes have set a benchmark to build on.
The Great Britain team finished with eight medals from the three-day event on their home track – four gold, two silver and two bronze.
Men’s and women’s team pursuit gold plus victories for Joanna Rowsell in the individual pursuit and Laura Trott in the omnium placed Britain second in the medal table behind Germany – though Britain lead the series based on points ranking.
There was a silver medal in the women’s team sprint at the Manchester Velodrome for Becky James and Victoria Williamson, as double world champion James also finished second in the keirin.
Additionally, James took bronze in the individual sprint while Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton rode to third in the men's team sprint.
The UCI Track Cycling World Cup continues next month in Aguascalientes, Mexico from 5-7 December. There riders will aim to collect further points in order to qualify for the 2014 world championships.
“Overall in terms of where we are at I would say this Olympic cycle started quite differently from maybe the previous Olympic cycles,” Brailsford said.
“We've got a young group, very dynamic and eager riders who are on a voyage of discovery. The average age has dropped quite significantly than it was before.
“All in all I think the performances I have seen here are really good, really creditable but equally there is enough there to keep people on their toes.
“As an overview - generally happy but as always it gives you a benchmark where the work needs to be done.”
As well as some changes in personnel on the track, Brailsford discussed alterations in the coaching side of the team post-London 2012.
Paul Manning, who led the women’s endurance group to Olympic success in the team pursuit and omnium, has switched to the men’s endurance squad.
Chris Newton has replaced him, with Andy Harrison appointed as Programmes Director as the team work towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“From my point of view, I see a bit more of a bigger picture really in terms of where does this weekend figure in terms of Rio and the general build up, and equally going into this season we have made some changes here, so from my point of view it is interesting to see post-London,” Brailsford said.
“A new Programmes Director who has come in and worked on a day to day basis on managing the programmes here which I think is essential really because obviously I have different commitments so the amount of time I spend here is a lot less than it used to be,” added Brailsford, who is also the Team Principal of Team Sky.
“Shane's [Sutton, Head Coach for the GB Cycling Team] focussed now really just on that coaching group, working on the coaches which I think is working really well actually.
“We have a fairly mature group of coaches but who have switched roles really. We have Paul and Chris who are out of their comfort zones even though they have coached at Olympic level. That's a good thing.”
After Mexico, the final round of the series takes place from 17-19 January 2014 with the location yet to be confirmed.
It is followed by the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia from 26 February to 2 March 2014.