Beijing Olympic gold medalist Paul Manning is back in British Cycling as the new Great Britain Under 23 track endurance coach.
Manning takes over the role previously covered by Junior coach Darren Tudor. He will mentor the Under 23 Academy riders during the winter in Manchester and also work closely with road coach Max Sciandri when the Academy riders are based in Italy.
34 year-old Manning retired after winning a gold medal in the team pursuit in Beijing last summer. He was one of the cornerstones of the Great Britain pursuit squad, competing in the Athens and Beijing Games and numerous world championships since 2000.
He will now work to pass on his experience to the future generation of track and road riders.
Manning was planning a career in construction management after Beijing but Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton convinced him to return to cycling.
“When those two come knocking, you’ve got to consider it,” Manning told Cycling Weekly.
“At first I wasn’t sure but then when I saw Brad (Wiggins) and Mark (Cavendish) doing so well in the Tour de France, I started to think about how exciting it would be to be part of it in the build-up to London 2012 and how I can contribute something to it.”
“I’m actually glad I had 12 months away from the sport after retiring as a rider. It’s given me time to get a fresh perspective on it and not see things through the eyes of a rider. I know being a rider and a coach are two very different things.”
Manning’s appointment marks another step forward for the Under 23 Academy, adding his track knowledge and organisational skills to Sciandri’s road skills and local knowledge in Italy.
“I think it’ll be a good combination with Max because we’ve got a lot of different experience and skills that we can combine together,” Manning told Cycling Weekly.
“I suppose the British Cycling way of doing things in ingrained in me and I hope to pass that philosophy on to the riders. With the Academy riders it’s about mentoring as much as training. But I enjoy that and think I did it some way with people like Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas even when I was racing.”
Manning started his new role last week and worked with Academy riders Alex Dowsett and Steven Burke at the British time trial championships.
“I only started last Wednesday but it’s already full speed ahead,” he said.
“I’m going to go out to the Tour de l’Avenir in the next few days and I’ll speak to Max and start to get to know the Academy riders. Then it’s the world championships and about getting ready for the winter boot camp and the winter track programme.”