Brailsford’s departure leaves big hole to fill

File photo dated 17/02/2012 of Sir Dave Brailsford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 11, 2014. Sir Dave Brailsford has quit his position as British Cycling performance director, Press Association Sport understands. See PA story CYCLING Brailsford. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire

File photo dated 17/02/2012 of Sir Dave Brailsford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 11, 2014. Sir Dave Brailsford has quit his position as British Cycling performance director, Press Association Sport understands. See PA story CYCLING Brailsford. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire

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Sir Bradley Wiggins has suggested unrest at British Cycling marred Sir Dave Brailsford’s final days as performance director.

Brailsford led Britain to an unprecedented period of success over 10 years in the role, but has stepped down to concentrate full-time on his job as Team Sky principal.

The 50-year-old Welshman established Team Sky, winning the Tour de France with Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013.

Brailsford’s position with British Cycling was under scrutiny, particularly after a disappointing Track World Championships, which he missed to focus on his Team Sky duties.

And Wiggins, an integral figure in both British Cycling and Team Sky, hinted at discontent in the ranks.

“He told me last Friday, but I’ve seen it coming for a while because he’s been umming and ahhing about it,” said Wiggins.

“I don’t think all was well at the velodrome, there was a lot of sort of sniping and things.

“He’s obviously been under pressure for a while. One bad result and all of a sudden, it’s all Dave’s fault even if he’s coach of the year in 2012.

“That’s sport, one minute you’re on top of it all and the next minute, one bad result and everyone calling for your head.

“I think from his point of view, he’s taken it as far as he can take it. He’s been there for the best part of 15 years.

“I think it’s incredible and I’m sure someone will step in and freshen things up a bit.”

Brailsford led Britain’s cyclists to an unprecedented period of success, with eight gold medals at the Beijing and London Olympics and has arguably been more influential than any other person in turning cycling into a mainstream sport in this country. The decision was made following an internal review and is Manchester-based British Cycling’s Sir Alex Ferguson moment; how do you replace such an influential figure?

British Cycling plan to replace him with three men.

Shane Sutton, Brailsford’s right-hand man in more than a decade of success and previously performance manager, has been named technical director, while Andy Harrison will continue as programmes director.

A new role of head of performance support will be created.

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