Shane Sutton has made his return to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester this week for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
The former British Cycling technical director is now working for the China national track team, and is in Manchester to support his riders for the second round of the World Cup series.
Sutton resigned from his position at British Cycling in April 2016 after 14 years with the organisation as a result of allegations of sexism and bullying in the British team camp, allegations that Sutton denies.
Sutton arrived at the track on Monday, and told ITV News that he has received a warm welcome and is looking forward to the event.
“A few people came over to say ‘hello’ when we unloaded the bikes on Monday but we were training on Tuesday and there were lots of hugs and handshakes from the GB guys,” Sutton said.
“But I’ll be all decked out in China colours on Friday and it should be fun.”
Sutton is aiming to recreate the track success enjoyed by Great Britain over the past few Olympic Games with Chinese riders, although he says that he has work to do after a large selection of experienced riders retired after the recent National Games in China.
“We identified about 40 riders but only about half a dozen are carrying on, so we’ve got to start again,” Sutton said.
As part of the process, China is forming an equivalent to the British National Cycling Centre based around the 2008 Olympic velodrome in Beijing. As well as Sutton, several new coaches have been employed, with riders and staff accommodated in an on-site hotel.
In addition, Sutton said that a base in Europe – in Italy or Spain – will be set up so that endurance riders can take part in road races during the summer, when there are no track events.
The UCI Track World Cup round in Manchester takes place from Friday November 10 to Sunday November 12.