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Britain looks to Tour success in 2010 and beyond

The Tower Bridge

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British Cycling Performance Director David Brailsford will be turning his attention from his successful track program to the road. He spent last month selling the idea of a British team in the Tour de France, beginning in 2010.

"Cycling is the new golf," he said to the Daily Mail. "It's gone far better than I expected. It looks as if it is going to happen."

Until now, his focus has been on the track since it offered the potential of more Olympic medals than the road. Brailsford said a British Tour de France team would be made up of British racers such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas - all of whom will race in Beijing on the track in August.

While the track cycling program has been largely funded by the national lottery, Brailsford is seeking corporate funding to financially back what a road team which would require a much larger budget, likely six million pounds.

"I always felt there would come a time when it was right to be cracking the other part of cycling, and now the planets are all lining up nicely. It feels like the right time," he said.

Brailsford estimated it would take about five years before the team could win the Tour de France. Such an accomplishment would be historic since no British rider has ever won the Tour. Last year's edition started in Britain and officials are negotiating a possible return in 2012 prior to the Olympic Games in London.

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