British Cycling - the golden years are over

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? 2018 was the last bumper year. Who’s coming through the ‘system’ to take up the mantle. DB seems more focussed on winning rather than fostering UK riders now?

Discuss.

Surely fostering British riders is the charge of British Cycling, not Brailsford. he’s a team mgr, he will manage the best team he can.

Sutton was a douchebag of the highest order but his loss is missed for sure.

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Well, Sky was initially about British riders, but the role has changed.

Since DB is no longer associated with BC in any way that’s exactly what he should be doing isn’t it?

Tom Pidcock smashed all comers in the Baby Giro last week, Simon Yates, GT and James Knox all in the top ten of Tirreno Adriatico with a couple of days to go. It’s not so bad.

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Sky was always about winning and Brit angle gave a mandate for funding more than anything.

Henderson, Lofkvist and Flecha IIRC were their first wins and I think they only had 6 or 7 Brit riders on the squad.

All good points, but 7 TdF wins on the trot is insane and that period is over; that was my point. It had to come to an end

Tom Pidcock could be a British WvA for sure.

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Yeah that ship has sailed. I used to watch every bit of pro racing I could, including track (my favourite actually) but a combo of not racing anymore myself and letting my Virgin/Eurosport tv package go, I don’t think I’ve watched a race in 18mths.

COVID has kicked the guts out of lots of things cycling wise, watching races, sportive participation, TTs and that’s just road.

The golden days of Brit cycling are probably gone, I’m just not sure how many will care.

You need a team tgat wants a close relationships with British Cycling for that to happen again.

Ineos might be the ones to do that given the owner, but they need to do something in the meantime. Im not sure how pleased theyll be if Brailsford doesnt pull this one off.

Agreed, and sad.

When Sky split from BC it was the catalyst for this.

I’ve watched the tour for as long as I can remember but I definitely enjoy it more when we have a dog in the fight. And I did love the initial indignation amongst the peloton that a Brit could be any good.

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There are good British riders out there but SDB doesn’t seem too interested in having a British core in the team anymore.

I don’t know if Ratcliffe will be overly disappointed with not winning the Tour this year if the plan is to develop the younger rider that Ineos have in the squad. Bernal, Sosa and Sivakov look like long term projects and Carapaz will challenge for a good few years too.

Where Pidcock is going is anyone’s guess. Would love to see him at Ineos but where would he fit in? Would he do a WVA job at Ineos or is he looking for GC leader status?

The other issue is the team leadership. Froome may come across as a nice guy but he was ruthless in his pursuit of success. He led that team, they wanted to ride for him. Thomas was more Mr Nice Guy but that also worked and they rode for him.

I don’t think Bernal has the same buy in with the team this year at all, there’s something missing. They’re not gelling at all.

They need a strong GC leader or leaders to replace Froome and Thomas.

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No, he’s like 50kg’s he’s probably going to be the shortest pro, he will not be able to do what WvA can do.

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As echoed above, Sky’s success came from the track: Wiggins, Cav, Thomas, etc. That aside, we’ve imported success (via Nairobi) and had limited one-offs, mainly via the time-trial (Alex Dowsett), and area we’ve traditionally been strong.

All good things come to an end, and for a country our size I don’t think we could expect to dominate throughout generations. There are green roots (Simon Yates, Hugh Carthy, TGH), but seems the next powerhouse will be Columbia.

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I’m not sure, the money is pretty much tied around English speaking or big European country, been that way for decades, and I can’t see why that would change.

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They have the same CX background; Pidcock has won Junior Paris-Roubaix, so he’s shown he has strength.

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Oh yes, Pidcock is a phenomenal athlete, but he’s not sitting on the front of a world tour bunch pulling it along for ages, or involved in bunch sprints. It’s a simple reality a 50kg rider and a 78kg rider cannot do the same things, just because they both come from cyclocross, doesn’t mean they’re the same type of rider.

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This is the current Tour Top 10, not counting Bernal, Gaviria or Chaves.

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Lots of experienced riders over the age of 25 in there.

You misunderstood my point, cycling is a team sport, but with individual stars, the team is too important, the team needs sponsors, the team invests in people their sponsors like. The sponsors don’t are about the Colombian market, they care about English speaking ones, and the large European ones, so those are the riders who will get the opportunity, amazing individual riders will get a chance, but having the best individual does not mean much unless the team chooses you to win.

I do not believe Froome, Wiggins or Thomas were the best rider in the tour de france for any of their wins, but they still won the race, because the teams decided that was what they wanted. I firmly believe that will continue, hence we will not see a Colombian domination, however individually good they are.

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and a lack of oversight and an incompetent doctor…

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The BC academy model was always based primarily on winning Olympic medals on the track and as a by-product the better endurance riders ended up with pro contracts on the road.

I think the rest of the world has cottoned on to the fact that track cycling is a relatively easy place to win medals with a small group of athletes and they’re out-BCing BC. If GB don’t win a hat-full of cycling medals in Tokyo next year I can see their funding being slashed.