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Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 11:38 UK

GB chief 'hurting' after Worlds

Brailsford salutes 'awesome' Pendleton

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford believes a mixed performance at the World Championships is a wake-up call for the team.

Last year in Manchester, Britain won nine golds, but Brailsford's youthful squad won just two titles in Poland.

"We got used to winning a lot, and when you don't win a lot it hurts," said Brailsford. "But it's a good wake-up call. It really energises us.

"It's a question of debriefing and regrouping and then really pushing on."

Britain finished third in the medal table, with two golds, four silvers and three bronzes, behind Australia and France.

The women's team pursuit trio of Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell and Lizzie Armitstead won gold on day two.

And Victoria Pendleton - GB's only defending individual champion present - successfully retained her women's sprint title on day four in Pruszkow.

Our foot is not to the floor and I think that's important

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford

Brailsford suggested his team would now have a psychological advantage in that they would now be chasing rather than defending titles.

"It's a good thing that some of the world titles are resting on other people's shoulders now and they become the hunted and we become the hunters," he said.

After Manchester, Britain went to the Olympics in Beijing and won seven golds, but many of those Olympians - Sir Chris Hoy, Rebecca Romero and Bradley Wiggins - were not in Poland, which gave Brailsford further cause for encouragement.

"A lot of the other nations are at full gas here - this is their Olympic team," he added.

"They're pushing really hard but they haven't really moved that much forward - that's quite encouraging.


"We've given it 110%, but our foot is not to the floor and I think that's important."

Brailsford made a special point of praising Pendleton's sprint triumph, describing it as "phenomenal".

"If you look at the record books and see how many Olympic champions have come back to the next world championships and retained their world title, very, very few people have done it," he said.

"I don't think anybody did it from Athens and Vic's the only one from Beijing - so that's pretty impressive."

Despite failing to match their dominance in Manchester or Beijing in 2008, Britain's former Olympic champion Chris Boardman says that the experience will serve the team well for the London Olympics in three years.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I think what people don't realise is it took a lot of courage for the selectors to choose the team they did for this Championships - not to go for results but to think about 2012.

"To do that you have to give the emerging talent the chance to have the experience and learn from it - the likes of Peter Kennaugh and Jonny Bellis - and you have to sacrifice results for that.

"There were some performances that were slightly below-par but that's part of the building process. It makes them realise and gives them a wake-up call that they can't go through the motions."

Boardman, an advisor to Team GB at the Beijing Olympics, also feels Britain's competitors could have learned from the success and the trailblazing methods of Brailsford's team in recent years.

"If they have any sense they will have looked at what we did, read all the press reports, gathered as much information as possible and learned - that's what we did to everyone else," he added.

"We looked for solutions to beat them and I'd be surprised if the rest of the world didn't do that.

"I have no doubts that come 2012 everybody [in the British team] will be back where they were before."

see also
Armitstead battles to third medal
29 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Highlights - Sprint semi crash
29 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Pendleton wins fourth sprint gold
28 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Armitstead wins silver after fall
27 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling photos - day four
28 Mar 09 |  Cycling
GB women win world pursuit gold
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling photos - day two
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Two silvers for GB on opening day
25 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling photos - day one
25 Mar 09 |  Cycling
World track cycling guide
24 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Chris Hoy's track bike guide
02 Oct 08 |  Get Involved
Cycling on the BBC
04 Nov 08 |  Cycling

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