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Heiko Salzwedel sacked by British Cycling

by 12/10/2017 19:21:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Heiko Salzwedel has played a key role in the success of British Cycling
  • Salzwedel was part of Sir Bradley Wiggins' Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics
  • Wiggins was part of the Great British Team Pursuit group that set a world record 
  • It is thought clashes with certain riders may have led to his departure
  • British Cycling have not yet commented on the reasons behind the decision

By Matt Lawton for the Daily Mail

Published: 08:15 EDT, 12 October 2017 | Updated: 19:21 EDT, 12 October 2017

The man who masterminded the Olympic gold-medal winning ride of Sir Bradley Wiggins and his team pursuit colleagues in Rio last year was sensationally sacked this week and ‘made to feel like a criminal’ as he was escorted from the premises.

Staff and riders were left stunned when Heiko Salzwedel, the German endurance specialist in his third stint at British Cycling, was marched out of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Wednesday by security — with sources claiming he was the victim of a rider revolt.

British Cycling refused to comment on Thursday, possibly because the terms of any severance package are still being negotiated.

 Endurance specialist Heiko Salzwedel (left) has been sacked by British Cycling
 Endurance specialist Heiko Salzwedel (left) has been sacked by British Cycling

 Endurance specialist Heiko Salzwedel (left) has been sacked by British Cycling

But Salzwedel went to work on Wednesday believing he would be travelling with the team to Berlin next week for the European Track Championships.

His day, however, ended with all ties being severed with the under-fire governing body for the third time in his career.

Salzwedel was apparently told it was standard human resources procedure to escort a dismissed member of staff off the premises but it remained a shock to those who regarded him as a key figure in the British Cycling success story. One insider said: ‘He was made to feel like a criminal.’

Sportsmail, however, understands clashes with certain riders may have ultimately led to his departure. That is believed to be the reason given to him.

The German played a key role in the success of British Cycling at the Olympic Games in Rio
The German played a key role in the success of British Cycling at the Olympic Games in Rio

The German played a key role in the success of British Cycling at the Olympic Games in Rio

Salzwedel was recalled to British Cycling in October 2014 when a dip in performances after the London 2012 Olympics saw Australia emerge as the strongest team in the men’s pursuit.

It was Salzwedel’s task to deliver a winning team for Rio last year and he did just that in what was one of the most dramatic races of the Games.

The Australian quartet led for most of the 4km race, only for Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull to overhaul their rivals in the closing 500m and win in a world-record time of 3.50.265.

Salzwedel first joined the GB coaching set-up after the Sydney Olympics, only to leave in 2002.

A role which saw the Englishmen and team-mates win Gold in the Team Pursuit
A role which saw the Englishmen and team-mates win Gold in the Team Pursuit

A role which saw the Englishmen and team-mates win Gold in the Team Pursuit

He returned as performance manager in 2008 — after guiding the Danish team pursuit squad to a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics — leaving in 2012.

This week British Cycling also refused to reveal whether Jonathan Browning will be re-applying for his position as chairman.

Sportsmail understands that he will do so, despite his role — as a member of the board — in the ‘sanitising’ of a report into allegations of bullying and discrimination against former technical director Shane Sutton.

The interviews for the position take place in London on Friday, with UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl believed to be on the interview panel.

 

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