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Brailsford for the Chop

Back in the day when Planet X was in its youth we had an export sales manager with a talent for table sliding, a weakness for blondes and an unstoppable passion for the sport of cycling. But who'd have guessed that this drive and enthusiasm would ever have given the world the recently knighted Sir Dave Brailsford that we know today?

Proudly titled in this year's New Year's Honours list, Brailsford's career has defined a path to greatness few can match. The Performance Director of British Cycling and Manager of Team Sky has widely commended for his central role in Team GB's outstanding successes in the 2012 London Olympics, as well as the recent surge in popularity of the sport resulting from legendary figures such as Wiggins, Hoy, Cavendish and Pendleton. Who'd have thought that in he cut his cycle industry teeth knocking around with Dave Loughran in the fledgling days of Planet X... 

Those were the days of a business in its infancy with no plan, structure, and where days and evenings were spent talking of the great Tour exploits and battles  of Lemond, Fignon, Delgado and the cycling icons of the 80s. A  great day would be judged not by turnover, sales numbers or gold medals but by miles on the clock and the pain inflicted on your co-workers.  

I am frequently called by journalists these days asking "Did you know Dave Brailsford before he was famous?". "Was he always a genius?". "Did you recognise his talents?" and they are always bemused when I say "no, not really, I didn't see anything, all I remember was an annoyingly stubborn bloke who I just wanted to batter on the bike, and who in turn always tried to put the half wheel on me."

Great times my friend, many a day we spent battling on the Luberon roads on  trips to see our crazy french friend Dangerous Momo, so congratulations and arise Sir Dave Brailsford. 

Brant Richards

1 March 2013

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