The women’s team pursuit coach has quit the squad, just months out from the Tokyo Olympics.
Paul Manning, who has been a key figure in Britain’s domination in the team pursuit, is leaving the Great Britain Cycling Team after more than a decade as a coach.
The news comes just a week after British Cycling fired men’s sprint coach Kevin Stewart because of his “inappropriate relationships” with riders.
Manning, who won Olympic team pursuit gold alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins in the 2008 Beijing Games, has now left the team for unknown reasons, The Times reports.
The 46-year-old said: “I will forever remain very proud of the performances I have contributed to and feel I am leaving the squad well prepared for the final push to Tokyo 2021. My remaining time with the team will be focused on a successful launch in to 2021.”
Manning joined the British Cycling coaching team in 2009 after being hired by technical director Shane Sutton, and he initially focussed on the men’s endurance team for the first eight months, before he joined the women’s endurance team in 2010.
The British women’s team pursuit squad have been dominant since the discipline was introduced in 2008, winning gold in both the London 2012 Olympics, won by Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell Shand, and in 2016 in Rio with Trott, Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker.
Britain also holds the world record, setting a 4-10.236 in Rio.
But the GB team has missed out in the World Championships for two years in a row, first to Australia in 2019 and then to the USA in 2020, with the Olympics just around the corner.
In the European Championships last week, the squad were back on top with a convincing victory over Italy, setting their fastest time since Rio.
British Cycling’s head of performance planning for the Tokyo Olympics, Jon Norfolk said the recruitment process for Manning’s replacement will start imminently, and that he is confident the team will remain on target for 2021.