What could Dave Brailsford and Scott Sunderland have been discussing at the Manchester World Cup recently?
The Australian directeur sportif’s presence at the velodrome last weekend only added to speculation that he is in talks to become part of the management team of the much-anticipated British-run pro road team, which is on course for launch in 2010.
Sunderland, 42, was a directeur sportif for CSC-Saxo Bank until he left to join the Cervélo Test Team with Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre at the end of the season.
But before Cervélo even turned a wheel in competition, Sunderland and the team parted ways, citing differences of opinion.
Sunderland and Brailsford, British Cycling’s performance director, have both been tight-lipped but as Sunderland and his wife Sabine enjoyed a meal in the track centre on Saturday night there was no avoiding the speculation.
Sunderland and Braislford were spotted talking during Saturday’s competition, and the Australian was again seen chatting with other BC staff on Sunday.
And when Sunderland emailed CW to request a subscription to the magazine we could only assume he has a reason for wanting to keep closer tabs on the British scene.
Work on the team continues behind the scenes. Sky is still the hot favourite to be the title sponsor and many of the British riders are already talking about the Sky Sports team for 2010. Cycling Weekly revealed two months ago that Sky would sponsor a track trade team at the Manchester World Cup. The next logical step for Sky would be a road team competing on the biggest stage.
Meanwhile, another experienced managerial figure in the frame for a role at British Cycling is Roger Legeay.
The former Gan and Crédit Agricole manager was manager of the Z team when Greg LeMond won the 1990 Tour de France. Legeay was Chris Boardman’s manager for his entire pro career. The Frenchman is vastly experienced but is available after failing to find a replacement sponsor for his team when Crédit Agricole pulled out.
British Cycling’s Performance Director scowls at our photographer Andy Jones when he realises he’s been spotted. He later laughed it off.