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Team Sky to leave the Manchester Velodrome on request of British Cycling

Joseph Delves
7 Jun 2017

British Cycling seeks to distance itself from the team with which it has shared both a home and personnel

British Cycling has asked Team Sky to move out of the Manchester Velodrome, the location from which Britain’s cycling medal factory has long operated and which previously formed a home base for the commercial Sky team, according to a report in the Guardian.

Sir David Brailsford, who engineered much of Team GB’s success as British Cycling’s Performance Director for years maintained that job alongside founding and running the Team Sky.

Unsurprisingly the teams have long had a close relationship, with riders and staff regularly transferring between the two organisations. However, with both suffering damaging accusations in the last year British Cycling now appears keen to put some clear air between itself and Team Sky.

While in some ways the relationship has been mutually beneficial, questions have long been raised about the potential conflict of interests between the Murdoch backed Team Sky and the publicly funded British Cycling.

These came to a head when it was discovered that a member of British Cycling staff, in a position part funded by the government, had delivered the Jiffy bag which became the centre of an investigation into possible wrongdoing at Team Sky.

Questions were also asked about why British Cycling had been stockpiling the same cortico-steroid used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins at their headquarters.

With massive reform at board level seemingly on the cards at British Cycling, the organisation seems keen to use the opportunity to also reform the relationship with Team Sky.

Cooperation and cross over between the two has decreased rapidly in recent years, partly precipitated by Brailsford's resignation as British Cycling’s performance director, a move he made in order to concentrate solely on the Tour de France winning trade team.

Team Sky, which has several bases around the world, currently only rents offices at the Manchester Velodrome. They’re likely to maintain a presence in the city.

British Cycling will face fresh scrutiny next week, when the much delayed report into allegations of bullying at the organisation is finally released.

The organisation will be hoping that reform of its board and governance structures, along with the severing of links to Team Sky are enough to placate UK Sport, who administer the government funding from which the organisation has long benefited.