Sutton leaves head coach role with Team Sky, takes up performance advisor consultancy
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Sutton leaves head coach role with Team Sky, takes up performance advisor consultancy

by VeloNation Press at 6:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Ellingworth steps up to performance manager slot

Shane SuttonSuggestions that Shane Sutton would be moving from his day to day role as head coach of Team Sky have been officially confirmed by that team today, with the announcement that he would take up a consultancy role instead.

Sutton will continue to work as head coach of British Cycling’s track programme and will now have the title of performance advisor to the WorldTour team. He has worked closely with Bradley Wiggins in the past and has long had the position of mentor to the Tour de France winner; it is thought that he will continue to advise the rider going forward.

“I’m working in a support role alongside Dave as an advisor and a troubleshooter,” said Sutton, confirming that a ten year working relationship with team principal Dave Brailsford will continue. "We’ve worked together for a long time and we’ve got a good working relationship.

“If there is an issue that the team has identified or an area that needs exploring then Dave will be able to bring me in and we can take a look at it.

“We’ve got a very good team and a young dynamic group of performance coaches. I’m being led by Dave and whatever he wants and whatever I can do to help the performance team then I’ll deliver that for Team Sky.”

Sutton’s move comes after months of reshuffling within the team. Apart from the standard rider changes expected at the end of each season, the team has also modified its management structure. Some of those who left did so under the team’s zero tolerance policy, which was reinforced in the autumn and which saw anyone connected to previous doping leave the team.

Bobby Julich and Steven de Jongh departed for this reason, both having admitted using banned substances during their pro careers.

Former Michele Ferrari client Mick Rogers moved to Team Saxo Tinkoff, but that move has not been officially linked to the zero tolerance policy and neither has the departure of Sean Yates, who had a positive test in the 1989 Tour of Belgium but who was later reinstated as race winner. Yates has said that he left due to health issues and to spend more time with his family.

Sutton crashed while training in November and suffered a head injury, but was reported soon afterwards as recovering satisfactorily.

Sky has not yet responded to a request for clarification about the reason for Sutton’s change of position, but he’ll still have a connection with the British squad.

“Despite stepping back from a day-to-day role within the team, Sutton's knowledge and experience will still be influential to Team Sky as they look to defend their status as number one team in the world,” the British squad said in a statement.

Meanwhile Rod Ellingworth will move up to a more senior position this year, becoming performance manager and overseeing the management of the Sports Directors and Race Coaches in his capacity as Performance Manager.

“It’s a post that involves overseeing the race programmes, training camps and external commitments to ensure we produce the best possible performances on the road,” he said.

“As a performance team, we all have a say in how that comes about, but somebody has to be responsible for recording what we’re doing and monitoring how we’re doing it.”

He said that he’ll still continue to work with the riders he coaches at present. Ellingworth’s new role will see him on the road throughout the season, working alongside the rest of the performance team.


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