GB track sprint coach Kaarle McCulloch to step down, just 15 months after joining

British Cycling begins search for Australian's successor ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics

Kaarle Mcculloch with Katy Marchant
(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/

Kaarle McCulloch, Great Britain Cycling Team women’s sprint podium coach, has announced that she will step down from her role, just 15 months after being appointed.

The former Olympic bronze medallist will continue to lead the squad until after the UCI Cycling World Championships in August, when she will vacate her post and return to her native Australia. 

In a press release shared by British Cycling on Wednesday, McCulloch cited a struggle in balancing her new life in Manchester with her family life back home. 

She said: “In all the time that I have been involved in sport there has not been a more rewarding period than my time coaching the women's podium sprint team at GBCT.    

“I’m sad that I am unable to see out this Olympic cycle but it has been increasingly difficult to balance living in Manchester with commitments to my partner and family.” 

Speaking to Cycling Weekly at January's National Track Championships, McCulloch offered greater detail about the challenge. “I think I definitely underestimated the complexities of moving country," she said. 

"I’ve always travelled my whole life, so I didn’t really think too much of that. But when you turn to a new country, with four suitcases, your whole life there, and then try to figure out a whole new place… It’s really been hard. And things haven’t worked out for my partner, either, with visas and things like that.”   

The 35-year-old joined the Great Britain Cycling Team in February 2022, taking over from Jan van Eijden, in what was her first elite-level coaching role. She conducted her initial training sessions online, before relocating to the UK in April.

Over the past year, McCulloch's process-driven approach has helped guide the women’s sprint team to a bronze medal at the World Championships, silver at the European Championships, and seen her athletes Emma Finucane and Sophie Capewell take a one-two in a round of the Nations Cup.

Kaarle McCulloch hugging Emma Finucane

Finucane hugs McCulloch after winning silver in the Keirin at the 2023 European Championships. 

(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/

In an interview with Cycling Weekly earlier this year, Finucane said she was “loving” working with the Australian. “She’s definitely brought a different light to coaching and sprinting,” the 20-year-old Olympic hopeful said. “Her ideas are amazing, and I really trust her. I feel like we make a really good team, especially with all the girls around, and we’ve stepped up already with her.” 

McCulloch will begin a new role later this year within the Queensland Academy of Sport's cycling development programme.

Stephen Park, Great Britain Cycling Team performance director, said: “Kaarle has been an incredible asset to the team, not only developing her riders as successful, medal-winning athletes, but also as individuals off the bike. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for her contribution to the team and wish her every success in the future. 

“I am confident that the focus and resilience of our riders, and the support they will receive from wider staff and coaches, will enable them to continue their fantastic momentum as we proceed towards the Paris Olympic Games.”

British Cycling's search for McCulloch's successor is already underway, with a hope of finding a replacement soon, ahead of next summer’s Olympics.

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.