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Dave Brailsford recovering from prostate cancer surgery

Joe Robinson
13 Sep 2019

Team Ineos principal learned of illness earlier this year before undergoing surgery last month

Sir Dave Brailsford has revealed he is recovering from prostate cancer having undergone surgery for the illness last month. The Team Ineos principal confirmed that scans revealed a tumour that scored 'four out of five' after a routine health check suggested Brailsford may have developed the cancer.

Talking in an exclusive interview with The Times, the 55-year-old spoke of the five-hour open surgery he underwent last month and that he will return to hospital this weekend to discover whether the surgery has successfully removed all cancerous cells.

Often credited as the mastermind behind Team Sky/Ineos's seven Tour de France triumphs, Brailsford admitted that his attitude to health check-ups had been 'ridiculous' and that even when learning of the illness his focus remained on Tour preparations.

That was until the Team Ineos manager received a message that made him re-evaluate his priorities.

'There's bound to be fear. It's the great unknown. I think I'm resilient, tough, I can put up with a lot but in hospital one day I was overwhelmed, to be honest,' Brailsford told The Times.

'One day I woke up asleep on my desk, literally crashed out on it. I'm thinking "this is just a hassle. I'm too busy". Luckily I have a brilliant doctor who put his foot down.

'I could easily have got into a hole, gone into myself which is normally what I do. I set myself a game plan. I talk to athletes about choosing your attitude. Now it was up to me.

'Luckily four or five days in, someone sent me the perfect text: "This is not a test of personality or motivation or how fast you can go. You need to heal. The only thing that can help that is time".'

Brailsford witnessed Egan Bernal win the Tour in July before then returning to the UK for surgery in Birmingham. He is still unable to fly due to the risk of blood clots but has already returned to work, appearing at the ongoing Tour of Britain.

The diagnosis has also made Brailsford change his perspective with him admitting he is looking beyond just winning bike races.

Brailsford has used his experience to learn about cancer charities admitting that becoming a beneficiary of their work has acted as a 'game-changer' and has been 'very humbling'.

Recently giving a talk at a Land's End to John O'Groats charity ride, Brailsford also has further plans to give something back to the charities that have helped him during his illness.