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Sir David John Brailsford CBE (born 29 February 1964)[1] is a British cycling coach. He was formerly performance director of British Cycling and is currently general manager of Team Ineos.

Sir David Brailsford
David Brailsford.jpg
Brailsford in 2007
Personal information
Full nameDavid John Brailsford
Born (1964-02-29) 29 February 1964 (age 55)
Shardlow, Derbyshire, England
Team information
Current teamTeam Ineos
DisciplineRoad and Track Cycling
RoleGeneral Manager
Managerial team(s)
1997–2014British Cycling
2010–Team Ineos

Early lifeEdit

Brailsford was born in Shardlow, Derbyshire and brought up in Deiniolen, near Caernarfon in Wales,[2] as a result of which he speaks Welsh.[3] Brailsford competed in France for four years as a sponsored amateur racing cyclist before returning to the UK at 23 to study for a degree in sports science and psychology at Chester College of Higher Education (awarded by the University of Liverpool[4]) and then an MBA at Sheffield Hallam University.


Brailsford has been involved with cycling throughout his career and spent some of his early career working as an export sales manager at Yorkshire Bike importer and distributor for Planet X Bikes.[5] He was first employed by British Cycling as an advisor when Lottery funding began in 1997.[6] British Cycling soon established its headquarters at the Manchester Velodrome, an Olympic-standard track, and Brailsford became programme director before becoming performance director in 2003 following the departure of Peter Keen.[7][8]

Brailsford is credited with championing a philosophy of 'marginal gains' at British Cycling:[9]

"The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together"[9] Dave Brailsford (2012)

As well as looking at traditional components of success such as physical fitness and tactics, Brailsford's approach focused on a more holistic strategy, embracing technological developments and also athlete psychology.[9] He is noted for his emphasis on constant measuring and monitoring of key statistics such as cyclists' power output, and developing training interventions that target any observed weaknesses.[10]

At the 2004 Olympic Games Great Britain won two cycling gold medals, their best performance since 1908.[11] Under Brailsford's leadership, the cycling team continued to improve, winning multiple world championships in road, track, BMX and Mountain bike racing. Great Britain led the cycling medal table at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, winning eight golds at both, while British cyclists won 59 World Championships across different disciplines from 2003 to 2013.[12]

In 2010, Brailsford also became the manager of the new British-based professional team, Team Sky.[13] As Sky Team principal he oversaw Bradley Wiggins', Chris Froome's and Geraint Thomas’ victories in the 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Tours de France.[14][15] In April 2014, Brailsford resigned as performance director at British Cycling to concentrate his efforts on leading the professional team.[6]

In March 2018, The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee published the report Combatting doping in sport. The report stated that Team Sky had "crossed an ethical line" by using medical drugs to "enhance the performance of riders" and that Brailsford must "take responsibility for these failures" and the subsequent "damaging scepticism about the legitimacy of his team’s performance and accomplishments."[16][17]


Brailsford was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours[7] and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[18][19] He was knighted for services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the 2013 New Year Honours.[20][21]

British cycling's 14 medals, including eight golds, at the 2008 Summer Olympics won him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award on 14 December 2008.[22] In November 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Chester where he studied Sport and Exercise Science.[23]

In December 2012 he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award for a second time.[24]

On 19 December 2012 He received the Freedom of the Borough of Erewash, Derbyshire.[25]


  1. ^ "Cycling's Taff at the top". BBC Sport. 17 August 2008.
  2. ^ "Team GB cycling coach Dave Brailsford to be honoured". Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald. 16 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Geraint Thomas yn gwneud argraff wrth ymarfer ar gyfer y Gemau Olympaidd". BBC Cymru. August 2008.
  4. ^ University of Liverpool Insight – 2012 edition. 2012. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Brailsford for the Chop". Planet X. Planet X Bikes. 1 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b Fortheringham, William. "Sir Dave Brailsford quits performance director job at British Cycling". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b MBE For Dave Brailsford Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine British Cycling, 15 June 2005
  8. ^ "Sir Dave Brailsford quits British Cycling to focus on Team Sky". BBC Sport. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Slater, Matt (8 August 2012). "Olympics cycling: Marginal gains underpin Team GB dominance". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  10. ^ Slater, Matt (5 February 2013). "How Dave Brailsford and Team Sky stormed cycling". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  11. ^ Slater, Matt (14 August 2008). "How GB cycling went from tragic to magic". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  12. ^ "GB Cycling Team Medal History – 2000 to Present Day". British Cycling. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  13. ^ William Fotheringham (26 February 2009). "Sky to sponsor British Tour de France team". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  14. ^ "Bradley Wiggins wins 2012 Tour de France". BBC Sport. 22 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Tour de France: Chris Froome wins 100th edition of race". BBC News. 21 July 2013.
  16. ^ Chris Froome 'completely backs' Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford...
  17. ^ House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: Combatting doping in sport
  18. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 7.
  19. ^ Richard Moore (31 December 2008). "New Year honours list: arise Sir Chris ... and there's a medal for your mum as well". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
  20. ^ "Knights Bachelor" (PDF). Cabinet Office. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  21. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 2.
  22. ^ "Sports Personality 2008: Cycling". BBC Sport. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
  23. ^ "Cycling: Chester graduate Brailsford honoured for GB Olympic cycling achievements". Chester Chronicle. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Sports Personality: Cycling's Dave Brailsford is coach of the year". BBC Sport. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  25. ^

Further readingEdit

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