Road To 2016
“It’s the road to Rio now” - Brailsford and Sutton review Glasgow Track World Cup
British Cycling’s Performance Director Dave Brailsford and Head Coach Shane Sutton have reviewed performances at the Glasgow world cup.
Weeks after selections to the 2012/13 Olympic Performance Programmes were confirmed, newly inducted athletes were taken to make their track world cup debuts; returning medals and personal best performances.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Sutton confirmed the British Cycling squad was “on the road to Rio”, as Brailsford dispatched any suggestion that success in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 had created a recipe for success that would be followed to 2016.
“This is a start of a journey and Rio will be different than any other Olympic Games,” Brailsford said, before detailing the coming challenges.
“Every Olympic cycle is different and trying to compare one to another is a mistake. I think we can learn. We’ve got a new group of riders and we need to think; how do we get this group to be the best they can be in four years? It’s a brand new challenge, a brand new puzzle and I’m as enthusiastic as ever.
“The average age of the team now is so young, there’s so much excitement, they’ve got so much contagious enthusiasm – it’s great for us and it makes you want to move forward with them.”
Laura Trott - world and Olympic champion and a pioneer of contagious enthusiasm
Sutton echoed Brailsford’s comments and went one step further, identifying the current group of athletes as medal winners in 2016 and defining the foundation for future success.
“There’s plenty of young talent, but it’s how you use it. We’ve got a coaching team, good leadership and if you’ve got talent then that makes up the three ingredients you need to go and win Olympic medals and I think we can do that in four years' time with this group we have.
Dibben, impressing at senior level on his debut
“The sprint girls have done really well, with the exodus of Victoria Pendleton, that’s been good for us. Trotty is a legend. But looking from the outside I see a real good quality in young Jon Dibben, a very good bike rider and he’s really impressed me.”
As Sutton concluded, Brailsford assessed what was, in his words “one of the best senior debuts I’ve seen in my time in this job.”
Brailsford called Elinor Barker’s winning ride in the team pursuit “an absolutely amazing display”, compounded only by her late addition to the squad – her first training session alongside Dani King and Laura Trott coming just a week out from the qualification ride.
“The decision making (by Elinor) and the confidence involved in that final ride to take on a lap and a half was quite something” Brailford analysed; “it was very Laura Trott-esque, so that’s very exciting for us.”
Attention now turns to the world championships as a comprehensive group of Podium Programme athletes decamp to Australia for a focused block of training, while work continues in Manchester for the Olympic Academy Programme, which will be documented as part of the Road To 2016 series.