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Mastermind: How Dave Brailsford Reinvented the Wheel

Mastermind: How Dave Brailsford Reinvented the Wheel

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Mastermind: How Dave Brailsford Reinvented the Wheel

4/5 (3 évaluations)
81 pages
48 minutes
Dec 3, 2014


Dave Brailsford has spearheaded the track cycling revolution in Britain, helping turn the nation into a superpower. He is also head of Team Sky and oversaw Bradley Wiggins' victory at the 2012 Tour de France. But who is the man behind the mask? This is a portrait of one of the most enigmatic presences in world sport; an exploration of his background, a unique insight into the formation of his methodology and an analysis of how he has forged a new path in a sport riven with controversy.
Dec 3, 2014

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Mastermind - Richard Moore

BackPage Press Copyright © Richard Moore

The moral right of the author has been asserted

First published 2013 by 90 Minutes, an imprint of BackPage Press

ISBN 978-1-909430-07-5

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of the publisher

A short film by the author can be seen at the start of Mastermind if you have an internet connection and a device which supports audio/video content. It is also available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cpF6Q6hrvo

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Oman. Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dave Brailsford is standing on the final bend of Green Mountain, 200 metres before the finish line of stage four of the Tour of Oman, alongside his colleague Tim Kerrison.

Both wear the uniform of Team Sky: black T-shirts with a blue band on the left sleeve, black shorts, black-and-blue Nike trainers and Oakley sunglasses. On Green Mountain, the vegetation is at the summit; halfway up, where Brailsford, the team manager, and Kerrison, the coach, are positioned, it is like much of the rest of Oman – a desert.

Today is the decisive stage of the five-day race, ending with a steep, six-kilometre climb -- the only significant ascent of the week – winding up the mountain like Alpe d’Huez in miniature.

Typically, Brailsford had spent a long time deciding on the best place to position himself and, although there weren’t many cycling enthusiasts in this land on the Arabian Peninsula, he and Kerrison happened to stop at the side of a hairpin beside a gazebo belonging to a middle-aged couple, she from England, he from Australia. They were cycling fanatics, there to watch the race, who were happy to share their barbecue and offer their surprise guests a ‘cold one’. The beer was declined, but Brailsford and Kerrison stayed to chat.

Thirty minutes before the expected arrival of the riders, the pair said their farewells and clambered up a small path, scaling a ridge that rose high above the road, to a better vantage point. From there, amidst jagged rocks and dust, they could see the road – or most of it – corkscrewing up the mountain.

Though early in the season, this is an important week. It is the first time Bradley Wiggins, the reigning Tour de France champion, and Chris Froome, his runner-up and Sky team-mate, have raced together since the previous year’s Tour. It could be the last time they race together before this year’s. The question of who will lead Team Sky at the 2013 Tour seems unresolved, other than in the mind of Froome, who has declared himself ‘100%’ the leader. Wiggins, who has said his main aim is the Giro d’Italia, has hinted that he wants to keep his options open.

It is set to be the big question of the season and perhaps the compelling drama of the summer. Sky were so dominant on the 2012 Tour that Wiggins was able to make a vague promise that he would return the following year to help Froome become his successor. Indeed, it seems as though they are in a position to decide between themselves who will win cycling’s biggest prize. But this situation, and the complacency it might encourage, presents arguably as serious a threat to their hopes of winning as the internal power struggle that will wage between Wiggins and Froome all year, intensifying as the Tour looms ever larger on the horizon.

Resolving the leadership question – a perennial problem in a sport organised along team lines, but practised by individuals – is a problem for Brailsford, but it is one for the future. For the moment, Wiggins and Froome are both in Oman, but with different objectives: Wiggins to feel his way into racing shape, Froome to win.

And right now, here on Green Mountain, there is a race to watch, one that is gloriously raw and wonderfully authentic. There are only a handful of spectators, no radio commentary, TV pictures or any other information. It is a world away from the Tour de France or Olympic Games, where Brailsford can seem preoccupied, distracted

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