British Cycling appoints former sailing coach as new performance director

Stephen Park is the first person to hold the role of performance director since 2014.

Stephen Park will become British Cycling performance director in the spring (Credit: Geoff Moore/REX/Shutterstock)

British Cycling has appointed Stephen Park as performance director, the first person to hold the position since Dave Brailsford stepped down from the role in 2014.

Park has been the Royal Yachting Association's (RYA) Olympic manager for the past fifteen years, during which time he helped the team amass 23 Olympic and Paralympic medals, topping the sport's medal table at the Rio Olympics.

The 48-year-old, who will take up the role in the spring, said that he was proud of his time at the top of the RYA, but was looking forward to the new challenges he will face at British Cycling.

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"I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to all the British Sailing Team athletes, staff and across the RYA family – past and present – for their unwavering commitment in support of British Sailing’s medal-winning achievements during my tenure.

"Clearly cycling poses very different challenges to sailing, but it’s a sport I am very passionate about from a personal perspective. I’m looking forward to meeting its challenges head on and working intensively with a highly motivated and experienced group of athletes, coaches and support staff."

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Chris Boardman was part of the selection panel that set out to appoint a new performance director in October.

"The standard of applicants was predictably high, and in appointing Stephen Park I am extremely confident that we have someone in place who can now go forward and build on the fantastic success that British Cycling has enjoyed in recent years."

The role of performance director has been vacant for the past three years since Dave Brailsford stepped down to focus his efforts on Team Sky.

Since then, the British squad had been overseen by technical director Shane Sutton, but with Sutton himself resigning in April 2016 amid allegations of sexism and bullying, the responsibility has fallen on programmes director Andy Harrison.

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