British Cycling have confirmed Dave Brailsford as Performance Director of the Great Britain cycling team up and beyond the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Brailsford has been fundamental in creating success for the Great Britain teams since 2002 and has built the team of highly skilled staff that helps British riders compete for medals at the Olympic Games and world championships.
In a new move that confirms British Cycling?s determination to succeed on the road as well as the track, the British Cycling Executive Board gave Brailsford a formal mandate to create both a men?s and women?s British professional team in the next few years that will be owned, governed and managed by British Cycling.
?I am very pleased to commit my future to British Cycling. I am very fortunate to have an outstanding team of riders and staff around me. They share my unquenchable desire to achieve excellence and are also people I really enjoy working with,? Brailsford said in a statement issued by British Cycling on Friday.
?I remain as driven as ever to help GB riders become the best in the world and whilst we have achieved great success so far, I believe there is much more to come. The opportunity to lead the team in a home Olympics is a privilege and one that I relish. Not many people can say that they absolutely love their jobs, but I am one of the lucky few who can.?
It is widely known that Brailsford is keen to create and manage a British professional team and he now has the possibility to bring together the sponsors and riders to create a British professional team that could go on to ride the major races including the Tour de France.
?It is a natural and eagerly awaited progression of our Olympic Programmes to create a top flight professional road team of British riders? Brailsford said.
?The opportunity to run a team based on the same performance principles as we currently employ is very exciting and one which I would like to make a reality. GB cycling fans are fantastic and I am sure that they would really get behind a British team competing in the major tours.?
Brailsford has been pursued by other sporting bodies and teams in recent months but British Cycling worked hard to hold onto him and share his dream of seeing British professional teams.
BC President Brian Cookson said: ?The confidence we had in appointing Dave to this role back in 2002 has been totally vindicated. We have the greatest possible confidence in Dave and the hugely competent team that he has built around him, and we want all of them to know that they have the total support and commitment of the whole of British Cycling?.
?We acknowledge that the structure of the (professional) team will have to be within the prevailing international regulations and that substantial additional efforts will be needed to establish and develop the project over an extended period?
?A partnership, co-ownership, or licensing agreement with another company, organisation, or individual is not ruled out, but what is important to the Board is that the ethical and sporting basis of the team is of the highest possible standard. Through the various programmes we have put in place, we are now developing a regular stream of young men and women athletes of the highest quality. Placing them in professional teams competing internationally at the top level is a key part of the process in achieving our overall Olympics-focused objectives, so we feel that the time is right to take this extra step and have full involvement in the entire process?.
Peter King, British Cycling?s Chief Executive said: “For many of our members the road scene is their main interest and, in particular, the professional European and World aspect of Road racing. Now that we have established ourselves at the top of the Track discipline, as well as being among the best in the disciplines of BMX and Downhill MTB, it is appropriate to make a long-term commitment to a professional road team as a natural home for the growing number of young and talented riders coming through the ranks and capable of holding their own against the best in the world”