Tour de France 2020

Is Sky’s Tour effort putting Olympic goals at risk?

The United Kingdom’s Sport performance director Peter Keen says the Sky team's Tour de France efforts may put Olympic dreams at risk.

The United Kingdom’s Sport performance director Peter Keen is concerned his counterpart at British Cycling, Dave Brailsford, has taken a big risk trying to oversee a Tour de France team while still being in charge of the country’s Olympic program.

Keen, Brailsford’s predecessor, said running a professional cycling team alongside an Olympic track squad is not something he would have attempted.

“The stakes are higher,” Keen told the Guardian. “It’s about people and their ability to work across another dimension. I think Dave would concede it’s an experiment.”

Three members of the Team Sky team managed by Brailsford that competed at the Tour de France were British ─ three-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins, Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas.

But asked if there was a worry Team Sky meant Brailsford would be devoting less time to a British track team that won eight golds at the Beijing Olympics, Keen replied: “Yes, there is.

“But there’s a counter-argument that the very talented and driven people there need new challenges to refresh them and the Tour provides that.

“But it is a big risk. Dave knows I wouldn’t have done the same thing. I’m a more conservative planner than Dave,” Keen said. “He’s well aware of the risks and my views on it; time will tell.”