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Games in Sports

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Biography

Sir Dave Brailsford CBE Team Principal, Team Sky

Sir Dave Brailsford was born on 29th February 1964 in Derby but, fittingly for the son of an Alpine mountain guide, moved with his family to Deiniolen, North Wales, at the foot of Snowdon when he was aged two.

Dave spent four years as a competitive cyclist in St. Etienne in France chasing his dream of winning the ultimate cycling challenge, the Tour de France before returning to the UK to study for his first degree in Sports Science and Psychology at the University of Chester. He subsequently went on to study for an MBA at Sheffield Business School.

Dave has been involved in cycling throughout his career and was first employed by the GB Cycling Team as a consultant following the advent of lottery funding. He then moved on to become Programmes Director before becoming Performance Director. He has brought to the role a blend of sporting knowledge and business acumen, which he has utilised to lead and develop the team into one of the most respected and successful Olympic Programmes across all sports. Dave led the team through the successful Athens Olympics campaign in 2004, where the team picked up four medals, two of them gold. And, of course, in the Beijing Olympics the GB Cycling Team won an unprecedented fourteen medals – eight gold medals, four silver medals, and two bronze medals – placing them firmly into the history books.

For his contribution to sport, Dave Brailsford was appointed MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list of 2005 and awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours list of 2009.

2010 was a significant year for Dave as he saw his dream of a British professional road cycling team realised in the shape of Team Sky, of which he is the Team Principal. Team Sky was built on Dave’s principles that made GB so successful on the track whilst inspiring people of all ages and abilities to get out on their bikes. Team Sky has a core of British riders and their involvement with the pro team compliments their Olympic training programmes – something which Dave saw as a priority for 2012.

In 2012, Dave once again placed Britain in the history books when Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins became the first British rider ever to win the Tour de France. The momentum of Bradley’s success carried over to the London 2012 Olympics, where GB repeated their medal haul of 8 gold medals. 2013 also brought in another successful year for Dave. In the Queen’s New Years Honours list, Dave was awarded a Knighthood, which he collected on 28th February 2013. Following this, Dave lead Team Sky to a second Tour de France win with Chris Froome, another British rider and another great victory for Team Sky. In 2015 he guided Team Sky to a second Tour de France win for Chris Froome, which totalled three Tour de France wins in 4 years – a massive achievement.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Lecture Series series.

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