• Cycling

Sutton: Brailsford 'greatest leader in British sport history'

ESPN staff
March 4, 2014
Sir Dave Brailsford runs British Cycling and professional outfit Team Sky © Getty Images

Sir Dave Brailsford is not responsible for Britain's disappointing performance at the Track Cycling World Championships, according to head coach Shane Sutton.

Britain's women took five medals in Colombia, but the men failed to win one for the first time since 1998.

British Cycling performance director Brailsford was not at the Championships for the second year in a row, taking time out to focus on his other role as principal of Team Sky.

But Sutton has defended his boss. He said: "The buck stops with me. For people to point the finger at Dave is unfounded. He's been the greatest leader in British sport history."

Former Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman questioned whether Brailsford was fully committed to his British Cycling role.

Boardman said: "I'm not sure about an overhaul, but it needs a boss. Dave would clearly be the best full-time boss, but if he's not going to do that, it might be better if somebody else comes in and takes the reins."

Brailsford has been British Cycling performance director since 2003, leading the team to 12 medals at the London 2012 Olympics.

As Team Sky principal, Brailsford has overseen the Tour de France wins of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

Despite Brailsford's multiple roles, Sutton is convinced they are still the right men to lead Team GB's cyclists in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

He said: "We love a battle. We've got a real scrap on here now."

"I probably want it more than the riders. I want to stay here. I want to take them into Rio and Tokyo, if I've got the opportunity."

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