As Team GB’s cycling heroes prepare for the weight of expectation on their shoulders at London 2012, it is worth listening to the wise words of Performance Director Dave Brailsford, one of the driving forces behind the sport’s outstanding success story in this golden era for British riders.
With one eye on cycling’s legacy after the Games Brailsford told me: “This is the top of one wave as it were where people want to perform and absolutely execute and deliver what they’ve been working for for a long long time. But also we want to inspire the next generation.”
Clearly, the British cycling guru wants Team GB to continue their global domination of their sport. And it was mission accomplished at the Tour de France when Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win cycling’s premier event, with world champion Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome sharing in the glory.
But the charismatic coach is on a mission to grow the sport as well as Britain’s medal haul.
“There’s winning which is obviously the most important thing. But it’s not the be all and end all either,” said Brailsford, adding: “People can be inspired not just by winning but by the way you go about it.”
When I asked him if he felt any extra pressure to maintain British cycling’s domination at London 2012 he replied: “I don’t feel any pressure. But there’s a responsibility to be the best that we can be.”