British Cycling have reportedly sacked men’s endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel, with security marching him out of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester after an apparent “rider revolt”.
According to a Daily Mail report, Salzwedel, who has headed up the men’s endurance programme since October 2014 and coached the team pursuit squad to a gold medal at the Rio Olympics, was “made to feel like a criminal” as he was escorted out of the Manchester Velodrome on Wednesday.
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The 60-year-old had arrived at work expecting to continue the final preparations for next week’s European Track Championships, but was apparently dismissed following “clashes” with a number of riders.
The sacking brings an end to Salzwedel’s third stint at British Cycling, having previously served as performance manager from 2001 to 2002, and 2008 to 2012. In between those periods, the German had also directed the T-Mobile development team, which brought the likes of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, and Ian Stannard through the ranks.
Salzwedel’s latest appointment at British Cycling had seen considerable success, culminating in the men’s team pursuit squad winning gold at the Rio Olympics. His appointment was also considered crucial in convincing Bradley Wiggins to return to the track ahead of the Games.
However despite his success, Salzwedel has not always enjoyed a positive relationship with all riders, with Mark Cavendish among those to criticise his approach.