British Cycling sacks coach; security escorts him off track premises

Posted on: October 12th, 2017

British Cycling sacks coach Heiko Salzwedel

With Bradley Wiggins having plotted his way to the world hour record. But now the coach behind a lot of Team GB track success is no more after being escorted off premises by security.


British Cycling sacks coach Heiko Salzwedel


One of the key figures in British Cycling’s high performance programme, endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel, has been sacked.

The move apparently came as a surprise to him, with the German escorted off the Manchester Velodrome premises by security staff.

Reports in the UK media suggest he was fired after what was effectively a rider revolt against him.

However, others are quoted in the Daily Mail, which has broken most of the major stories about British Cycling in recent years, said he was made feel like a criminal.

The German, regarded as one of the best cycling coaches in the world, has worked for British Cycling in three stints.

But given the manner of his departure yesterday it is difficult to see a fourth period ever eventuating.

He first joined after the 2000 Olympics, but only stayed for two years. Salzwedel went to work with the Danes and was the architect of their silver team pursuit medal the Beijing Games.

He returned to British Cycling later that year before leaving again and coming back in 2014.

Heiko Salzwedel was regarded as the man behind Team GB’s male team pursuit gold medal in Rio last summer; the swansong for Bradley Wiggins.

And in his book Wiggins clearly set out the German’s influence during that hour ride.

“I’ve got Heiko Salzwedel, my trainer, standing by the trackside with my lap time on his computer, and that’s my guide,” he wrote.

“After the first few laps, it starts to dawn on me: I’m lapping way faster than the pace I should be riding.

“Heiko had said, ‘Even if it takes you five minutes to get up to pace, it’s only ten seconds lost, so who cares – this is an hour-long effort.’

“I can see Heiko waving furiously at me from the trackside: I’ve got to slow down. It has to be the adrenalin, or maybe the couple of espressos I knocked back before coming up into the track centre.”

Salzwedel was expected to travel with Team GB to the European Track Championships next week.

But having been let go and been walked out of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Wednesday his time with the federation is over.

It has been reported that walking an employee off the premises is a standard procedure now in place at British Cycling.

His departure follows that of other key figure Shane Sutton. The Australian was suspended before the Rio Games and then departed amid allegations off sexism and bullying.