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Michael Bailey , London Olympics correspondent
Thursday, August 9, 2012
British Cycling’s star conductor Dave Brailsford may be the magic man revered for turning this country into a medal machine – but for him, it’s all about the world class group working beneath.
The 48-year-old performance director has helped transform cycling in Britain thanks to unprecedented success since Athens in 2004 – starting in the velodrome and taking Team GB in 2012 to seven London 2012 track golds, three road race medals and historic performances by Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in this year’s Tour de France under Brailsford’s Team Sky.
But when his men – like six-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy and Taverham sprint coach Iain Dyer – are shedding tears after incredible home Olympic success, Brailsford understands the outpouring.
Indeed, he knows he owes them all plenty himself.
“They should be choked at all this – this isn’t about me; there is a team of coaches and backroom staff and I conduct an orchestra,” Brailsford said.
“I don’t play any single instrument – I just stand there and try to conduct them.
“They are world class – everybody. The mechanics, the coaches, the doctors. They are world class at what they do and when you’ve got an orchestra like that, it’s pretty easy to conduct it.
“It’s my job is to hand pick them and then they all have way greater expertise in each of their given areas than I will ever have. The job then is to create an environment where you can pool that expertise and get a greater good, rather that hiding behind what they already know.”
“And actually, if you can get them all to calm down and all input into something and get behind the same goal, and give them some confidence so they don’t worry about being under scrutiny, then you get the best out of people.”