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Letter from the editor
Late last year I met with Rod Ellingworth at McLaren’s HQ in Woking, Surrey. Ellingworth had been brought in by McLaren to run the Bahrain team, of which the British engineering firm was now joint owner.
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Head-hunted from Team Sky, Ellingworth had been working behind the scenes last summer, putting in place plans for 2020 and beyond.
I’ve known him since he helped Dave Brailsford set up the British Cycling Olympic Academy back in 2004. The success of those initial few years under Ellingworth are well documented.
At Sky, Ellingworth was one of the most senior and most trusted members of the team, and not only were they disappointed to lose him, they knew that if anyone was going to be a threat when running a rival team, it was Rod. His organisational skills are matched by his ability to get the best out of riders. (He’s one of two people who can get the best out of Mark Cavendish. The other is Brian Holm.)
Why am I telling you all this? When I met with him last October I asked if the Tour Down Under would be a big target for the team to set out their stall. He said it wouldn’t be, but the races in the Middle East would. But only as part of a steady build through the season.
So that’s target number one ticked off.
Cycling Weekly magazine editor
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Cycling Weekly magazine February 13 2020 issue, on sale from Thursday priced £3.25
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