The former Olympian says she'd love to take on a role in the organisation but only in a system she felt comfortable with

Victoria Pendleton said she’d “love to be involved” at British Cycling if she was asked in the future, however doesn’t think she’d be given respect if she was at the organisation as it is currently.

>>> How British Cycling’s nightmare week unfolded

The two time Olympic gold medallist retired from racing in 2012 and has since switched to competing in horse racing, and will be working as a pundit for the BBC in Rio this August.

Pendleton has spoken out about the culture she experienced while an athlete on Team GB, in light of allegations of sexism at British Cycling and following Shane Sutton’s resignation as technical director last month. An independent review is currently being conducted into a culture of fear and bullying at the organisation.

“I would love to be involved [at British Cycling], of course I would love to be involved,” Pendleton told Cycling Weekly at the BBC’s launch for the Rio Games in London on Thursday.

“I’d want to be involved with a team and a system that I’d feel comfortable with. I wouldn’t be treated as an equal [now],” she continued. “I think I’d struggle to earn the respect.”

The 35-year-old recalled a meeting she had with former British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford when she was an athlete, and he asked her about her future plans in the sport.


Watch: Lizzie Armitstead – Road to Rio


“He asked me ‘where do you see yourself in I think five, 10 years time?’ And I said ‘in your chair Dave’ and smiled,” she explained. “He thought it was quite funny and I was like ‘well what do you want me to say? I’ve got to aim high’ — so I aimed at the top.

“Actually, Shane Sutton came at me after that saying ‘well I’ve stolen your chair now Vic’, not in a funny way, when I left the programme. I thought yeah, maybe not yet, maybe in the future.”

The former track cyclist said she did not believe the scrutiny BC is currently under will be having an impact on the riders’ preparations for Rio.

“As an athlete you’re so focussed on what you do, you’re so determined and driven with your own personal goals I don’t think it would really make a difference,” she said.

The BBC is bringing extensive coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics live from Rio. Beginning August 5th across TV, radio and on the BBC Sport website.

  • Dave2020

    You’re right in every respect.

    My point is still valid. There’s a world of difference between mid-thirties and mid-fifties!

  • Bob

    If I remember rightly all those years ago in the 70’s, I think there was only one credible challenger to him, a pro called Trevor Bull or something, but I do remember that it spoke more about the lack of british talent at the time than the fact Reg was so good, and that’s not meant to be disrespectful to him, I met him once and he was a great guy.

  • Dave2020

    You are certainly mistaken. My post, a half hour before yours, is a more accurate take on the circumstances. Wait for it to appear.

  • richcyclo

    Pendleton was a big favourite of mine and I have always admired how she achieved while struggling with self doubt.
    But I think her comments are more about her own state of mind than the state of BC.
    I’m not knocking her, just saying!

  • Dave2020

    Your ignorance is a bit far-fetched. Reg Harris was the best sprinter in Britain at the age of 54.

  • Read the article again

  • dourscot

    She is 35. The idea that she’d still be at Olympic level is a bit far-fetched. .

  • Leodis75

    Is she still banging on about this one to the media.

  • The Awakening

    Victoria Pendleton’s comments are very upsetting to me. To think that Victoria would still be representing Britain at this years Olympics, IF conditions had been much better for her.

    This news is currently being reported in the Guardian, Mirror, Express, Sporting Life and Telegraph online news editions.

    I really hope that Victoria Pendleton is given the chance of being involved at British Cycling, as part of the healing process that is now required.

    Well done Victoria for speaking out.