British prime minister David Cameron visited British Cycling’s HQ at Manchester Velodrome this morning in a short break from the Conservative Party Conference.
Cameron is the latest in a line of VIPs and dignitaries to visit the home of Britain’s most successful Olympic sport. Whilst there he spoke to Performance Director Dave Brailsford, team pursuiter Ed Clancy, and women’s endurance coach Paul Manning.
Cameron also took a look inside BC’s newest facility, the indoor BMX track. There he spoke to Olympic hopeful Shanaze Reade and watched a training session.
British Cycling’s press release said:
The Prime Minister was greeted by British Cycling President Brian Cookson, Chief Executive Ian Drake and Performance Director David Brailsford as well as Eamonn O’Rourke, Head of Sport & Leisure Services at Manchester City Council. The Prime Minister was then introduced to current Olympic Champions Ed Clancy and Paul Manning, who is also the GB Cycling Team Women’s Endurance Coach as he talked Mr Cameron through the team’s training at the Manchester Velodrome and spoke to him about their hopes for London 2012.
The Prime Minister was then led to the adjacent BMX Indoor Arena to meet BMX World Time Trial Champion Shanaze Reade and watch her in training. The BMX Arena, which opened recently as part of the London 2012 legacy plan, is one of the world’s few indoor BMX tracks and Shanaze spoke of her excitement at preparing for next year at this superb venue
Cameron gets a close up look at one of the world’s only Olympic standard, indoor BMX tracks
British Cycling also explained to the Prime Minister its concerns over the future of road racing in the UK and asked him to support the work being done by the Department for Transport and the Department for Culture Media and Sport to modernise the regulations which govern road racing.
The Prime Minister said: “I have been very impressed by the set-up here in Manchester, both in terms of the facilities which are second to none, but also the sense of professionalism and winning mentality you see in the coaches and riders alike.
“It is inspirational to see how British Cycling has achieved the success it has enjoyed over the past few years and I look forward to watching our cyclists in action at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
British Cycling President, Brian Cookson said: “It is a great honour for everyone at British Cycling to have the Prime Minister here and his visit could not have come at a better time. Only last week Mark Cavendish claimed a world title for Britain in the Men’s Road Race, making cycling history, and we also celebrated doubling our membership since 2007 to 40,000 members.
Ed Clancy takes the Prime Minister through a team pursuit change