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The VeloVeritas Years – 2008: Shane Sutton – Compassionately Ruthless

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Shane Sutton is a man who divides opinion; he’s either a messianic coach and mentor – or a crude, sexist, bully of a man.

For our part he’s only ever been polite, friendly and helpful.

Given the near hysteria surrounding the mention of the man’s name and as part of our ‘The VeloVeritas Years’ series of ‘look-backs’  we thought you may like to see an interview we did with him after his GB track squad’s triumphs in Beijing in 2008.

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This article first ran on 21st August, 2008

Nine World and Eight Olympic titles; that’s Team GB’s haul for 2008 – so far, that is. That kind of excellence doesn’t ‘just happen,’ who’s behind it?

The GB head coach is Aussie, Shane Sutton – he was still in Beijing the day after his squad’s triumphant campaign ended, when we spoke to him.

You weren’t a bad rider yourself, Shane – Milk Race Winner?

“Yeah, yeah, but that was all a long time ago!”

You rode the Commonwealth Games in ’78 – changes since then?

“The guys are bigger, stronger, faster – training methods have progressed. Back then, it was a case of; “more is always better.” The philosophy has changed, it’s all about speed now, including the endurance guys – in the team pursuit final, their first kilometre was a 1-02.”