Sir Dave Brailsford Stands Down as Performance Director at British Cycling

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 11, 2014

British Cycling's Performance Director Dave Brailsford smiles during the Track Cycling World Cup at the National Cycling Centre, in Manchester, England, Friday Feb. 18, 2011.  (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Sir Dave Brailsford has stepped down from his position as British Cycling's performance director, believed to be so that he can concentrate on his duties with Team Sky.

Sky Sports News revealed the management shift via its official Twitter account:

British cycling has excelled like never before under the guidance of Brailsford, whose work over the past decade has made Great Britain and its individual talents a worldly force to be reckoned with in the sport.

Since 2004, Britain's promotion of the sport has gone from strength to strength, bringing success from the last three Olympic Games in Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

According to an article published by The Guardian's William Fotheringham just prior to Friday's announcement, the review process began as far back as February, following the conclusion of the World Track Championships in Cali, Colombia.

It was only a fortnight ago that Sky Cycling quoted Brailsford as saying he was "as hungry as ever" for British Cycling success:

Cyclists such as Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott are just some of the names who have achieved wonders on both the Olympic and professional stage.

Team Sky share their Manchester headquarters with the Olympic squad, so it's foreseeable that Brailsford will still hold some ties with British Cycling even if he does take up a more prominent role with the former, as is expected.

So respected is Brailsford, in fact, that the England national football team were even reported by the Press Association's Martyn Ziegler as seeking the guru's wisdom:

Brailsford has been an architect in shaping what's arguably the fastest-growing sport in Britain of the last 10 years, and, in the run up to February's World Track Championships, Fotheringham quoted the director on the pressures he faces juggling the responsibilities of both teams:

That side of things [Sky] has got bigger, more global and certainly doesn't leave me a lot of time. The thing I am concerned about is to make sure the British cycling team is in the best possible shape it could be heading into Rio and that I feel that I'm contributing fully to make sure that happens.

And that the appropriate structure is in place to make sure that happens. In other words, if I was occupying a space and for whatever reason I didn't feel I was optimising what I could do, then I would change my role so that someone could be maximising that particular part.

Great Britain topped the medal table in cycling at London 2012, raking in eight golds, two silvers and two bronzes for a superb total of 12 altogether. 

With just over two years left until the attention turns to Brazil, British Cycling now focuses its efforts on ensuring Brailsford's lofty standards can be maintained under a new mind, although no successor has been mentioned as of yet.