British Cycling hoping for £5m funding boost from UK Sport

The governing body could find out on Thursday if it will receive the extra funding

British Cycling is set to find out today if it will receive a boost to its funding of up to £5m from UK Sport.

In December last year the governing body made an application for the additional cash to support riders to target the Madison and BMX freestyle park, two of the new medals on offer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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The additional cash could make up the shortfall in the organisation’s funding in this Olympic cycle compared with the four years leading up to Rio. It currently receives £25.9m from UK Sport whereas it received £30.2m in the four years to the 2016 Olympics.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly at the National Track Championships over the weekend, Stephen Park, performance director at British Cycling, said he was expecting a decision to be made on the application for “about £5m” on Thursday.

However, he added: “We won’t get everything we applied for, not because UK Sport won’t be supportive — I would be quite disappointed if they weren’t — but ultimately there is only so much money in the pot and they can’t give you money they don’t have. There are lots of new sports [in the Olympics] and they’ll want to get money as well.”

Park added that Winter Olympic sports would also be looking for additional funding following the games this month, which UK Sport will have to bear in mind. However, he said if some of those sports didn’t do as well as expected that might free up cash for BC.

Park added: “We’ve got some things that have happened since the original strategy was submitted at the end of 2016. For example BC decided that following the Cycling Independent Review report to put in a head of medical services. So there are a number of those kind of things that have happened to the programme.

“Now, to a certain extent you’ve got to cut your cloth but at the same time these are things that weren’t budgeted for.”

He pointed out that any new cash in the system had a positive knock-on effect to all the elite programmes.

“If we get funding for a BMX freestyle park it helps all the other disciplines. If my salary is shared between, say, 10 disciplines and we then get another two, then now it’s shared between 12, so that frees up money for each discpline,” he said.

Park also said that he was in no hurry to replace former men’s endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel, who left the organisation in October 2017.

Head coach Iain Dyer has been coaching the men’s endurance squad since and will continue to do so through the upcoming track World Championships that take place at the end of the month.

Park said: “I do think the mood has improved. I’ve got a huge amount of time for Heiko, I like him as a person and at the right time, for the right riders, he can be a great coach and he has delivered great results but we also know that at different times coach relationships have been less effective, in the last 18 months he was struggling with that relationship.”

Park said both Dyer and the riders were “enjoying” working together and BC is currently reviewing the coaching structure.

Dyer taking Salzwedel’s spot permanently hadn’t been ruled out but such a move would necessitate further changes to cover Dyer’s existing head coach duties.

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