The Shane Sutton interview
The latest Telegraph Cycling Podcast, with Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe, features an extended interview with Shane Sutton, who has replaced Sir Dave Brailsford as the man in charge at British Cycling.
Comparing it to the challenge David Moyes faced in taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – “But without the same pay cheque,” joked Sutton – the former head coach at British Cycling admits that stepping into Brailsford’s shoes has been difficult.
As the man who also coached Bradley Wiggins to his 2012 Tour de France title, Sutton discusses Wiggins’ ambitions for what will probably be the final two years of his career – the hour record in 2015, followed by the Rio Olympics, where he wants to ride the team pursuit. “It’s not a given that Brad will be in the team in Rio,” says Sutton, “but when Brad gets a focus it’s very hard to knock him off track.”
Sutton also reveals another plan for Rio – to target the Olympic road race. “We believe, on that course, with the group we’ve got, we can come out of there with a medal.”
The team could be led by the Yates brothers, Adam and Simon, who Sutton believes can go all the way. “I like to think the Yates brothers will come home, they will ride for Sky,” Sutton says of the twins who currently ride for the Australian team, Orica-GreenEdge. “They’re potential Tour winners.”
Sutton pulls no punches when discussing Nicole Cooke and Victoria Pendleton, who have both written autobiographies criticising British Cycling and Sutton in particular. Sutton admits that their criticisms hurt, and on the podcast he mounts a robust defence. In the case of Cooke, he claims that after helping her prepare for the 2010 world championships in Melbourne he never heard from her again.