British Cycling’s performance director David Brailsford has revealed his doubts over Great Britain’s ability to match the haul of track medals that they won at the 2008 Olympic Games at next year’s renewal in London.
Brailsford told BBC Radio Five Live that changes in the selection criteria and the scheduling of the events at London 2012 will mean that Team GB will be up against it as they try to emulate their success of four years ago. Last time round the team won 14 medals, eight of them gold, and Brailsford is under no illusions as to the task at hand.
“There will be ten gold medals available in London and the events that were in Beijing have been changed so we will win fewer than eight golds – I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” he said.
“They have also reduced the number of competitors in each event per nation to one, where it was two in Beijing. We don't do medal targets, but we will be the very best that we can be with the athletes we have. We are positive and we will go to London and do our very best.”
Brailsford also conveyed his reservations about the 2012 test event taking the form of the final round of the World Cup in February next year. As a result the best cyclists from all over the world will have an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the Olympic Velodrome. In the past, other host countries have used national championships as test events to give home-based athletes an advantage.
“It's fantastic the Games are in London and we need a test event but I am a bit miffed to be honest,” he said.
“We are having a fully blown World Cup as a test event when a lot of the other venues are using national championships. We are basically inviting in opposition from the rest of the world to come and have a look at our facilities and learn the nuances of the track. Could we do it a different way? Probably. But now it is a question of managing it properly and getting the most out of it.”