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24 July 2017

Dave Brailsford fears fluffy pandering to the PC brigade will damage Britain’s hard-won status as a cycling giant

DAVE BRAILSFORD warned “fluffy” pandering to the PC brigade will damage Britain’s hard-won status as a cycling giant.

The Team Sky boss oversaw his fifth Tour de France triumph in six years as Chris Froome won his fourth title  on Sunday — and was the key figure behind  our stars dominating in the velodrome for the past three Olympics.

Dave Brailsford says British cycling needs to retain its tough edge rather than become too politically correct
Dave Brailsford says British cycling needs to retain its tough edge rather than become too politically correct
Reuters
Chris Froome won the Tour de France - another boost for Team Sky and Dave Brailsford
Chris Froome won the Tour de France – another boost for Dave Brailsford’s Team Sky
Rex Features

Now Brailsford has hit out over claims of a culture of bullying at British Cycling, sparked by the Jess Varnish case.

She  complained after being dropped from the world-class performance programme last year.

And an investigation upheld her accusation that ex-technical director Shane Sutton used sexist language towards her.

Brailsford, 53, said: “If we get too fluffy, then we might as well accept we just go for participation rather than winning.

“What we have got to be a little bit careful of is getting a bit too PC about it all. Then all of a sudden the coaches, a bit like  a teacher in a classroom,  can’t do anything.

“They have to be very careful or somebody will complain and it  takes the edge out of the system.


Jess Varnish protested after she was dropped from the world-class performance programme last year
British rider Jess Varnish protested after she was dropped from the world-class performance programme last year
Getty Images
Dave Brailsford believes British cycling has a work ethic that needs to be protected
Dave Brailsford believes British cycling has a work ethic that needs to be protected
Getty Images

“We  need to recognise that the system we have  is world class   and we should be doing everything we can to keep that.”

The sport last weekend agreed to governance reforms, which will feature more emphasis on  athlete welfare, to ensure its £43million worth of lottery funding continues.

Brailsford added:  “You can’t be personal,  have bias, or discriminate  but a lot of people who look at themselves in the mirror  lie about what they see.

“Let’s not go too far in the other direction  or we will lose the very essence of what it took to win in the first place.”

Controversial coach Dave Brailsford has thrived as boss of Team Sky
Controversial coach Dave Brailsford has thrived as boss of Team Sky
Reuters
British rider Chris Froome celebrates winning the Tour de France for the fourth time
British rider Chris Froome celebrates winning the Tour de France for fourth time
Rex Features
Chris Froome was emotional as he won the Tour De France for a fourth time 170724-.mp4

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