Sutton: We're taking our time on the road to Rio

04 November 2013 / 22:01

Shane Sutton believes that British Cycling needs to let their young track stars slow down and develop after an impressive performance at the World Cup in Manchester.

The women’s pursuit team, comprised of Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker, broke the world record twice on the way to a gold medal, with double track world champion Becky James, 21, taking silver in the keirin.

Trott, 21, won the omnium with 24-year-old Rowsell beating off the competition to claim the individual pursuit title at the National Cycling centre.

But head coach Shane Sutton though thinks it is time to let the talented bunch of riders pause after a dizzying rise to the top of the cycling world, especially following the retirement of old and experienced hands like Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

“This Olympic cycle we've attacked it totally differently because we went pretty full-on in the first worlds after London 2012, because we've got young talent,” he said.

“That talent rose to the top very quickly in Minsk [in February], to a point now where we've got to take them back a little bit, develop them and make them understand what it's going to take to win even bigger in the future and the Olympics is the biggest of the lot.”

Another new prospect is 20-year-old Scottish rider Katie Archibald, who claimed a surprise bronze in the individual pursuit, which performance director Sir Dave Brailsford put down to the improvements in the British Cycling system.

“The average age of the team has decreased quite dramatically over the years, which is probably a function of the work being done lower down, bringing the talent through quicker,” he said.

“One thing that has happened is that the time it takes to get to the podium has come down considerably. We used to work on an eight-year period to get them onto the podium, now that's come down to a single Olympic cycle.

"There isn't a single blueprint for success, you've got to change every time you find yourself in a new situation. It's that adaptability that's important. If we started doing what we did after Athens or Beijing, it wouldn't work.

"As long as you make sure you've got that quest for continuous improvement, the rest of it will look after itself.

Despite having not focussed on the Commonwealth Games in 2010, with top riders instead competing at that year's European Championships, Brailsford thinks the timing of next year's event is ideal.

“For Glasgow it makes absolute sense for the age and experience of this group to go there and take it very seriously,” he added.

“We can use this as great experience for the youngsters to experience what it's like to try to hit a peak in the middle summer, rather than March. 

"We'll be taking all of those elements into the Commonwealth Games.”

© Sportsbeat 2013