Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling, has told road.cc that he believes Team GB’s cyclists can overcome a £500,000 cut in funding from UK Sport and achieve success at the London Olympics in 2012.
We reported at the weekend that UK Sport had cut funding to a number of key Olympic sports including cycling, a decision that was attacked by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford, who said that the decision ran the risk of turning the 2012 Olympics into the “have a go games.”
But Drake is philosophical about the reduction in funding, particularly when viewed as part of the broader picture, telling road.cc: “While cycling has seen a reduction in funding from our original award, we understand UK Sport's decision in relation to the wider sporting landscape, the level of available funding and the wider obligations of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.”
He added, “The decision will impact on us, however, we are confident we can adapt to it and deliver strong outcomes within the available resources. We are getting on with the job of preparing our athletes and we will find a way to minimise the effect of the reduction in financial backing on their performance.”
“We continue working with UK Sport towards our collective goals and we hope that the investment decisions that have been made will deliver medals in London 2012 across all funded sports,” he concluded.
Despite the reduction in funding, the amount of money awarded to cycling between 2009 and 2013 still stands at £26.39m, a figure that is the envy of other sports, although to justify that income, the nations’s cyclists will be expected to emulate their outstanding performance that saw them win nine of Team GB’s 17 gold medals at Beijing last year.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.