British Cycling loses another key figure as Paul Manning resigns as women’s endurance coach

Manning was a constant presence throughout a golden era for British Cycling on the track - JULIAN SIMMONDS
Manning was a constant presence throughout a golden era for British Cycling on the track – JULIAN SIMMONDS

British Cycling has suffered the loss of a second senior figure during the final countdown to the Tokyo Olympics with the resignation of women’s endurance coach Paul Manning.

The news comes only a week after men’s sprint coach Kevin Stewart was dismissed for “inappropriate relationships” with riders, though British Cycling said Manning’s resignation is unrelated as the 46-year-old departs to pursue new challenges.

Manning has spent more than a decade within the coaching set-up, with the riders under his guidance winning every available Olympic gold medal during that time.

He was named the UK’s high performance coach of the year after Laura Kenny, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell set a team pursuit world record at the London Olympics in 2012.

In a statement, Manning said: “My time as a coach for the Great Britain cycling team has helped me recognise how it feels to be part of a high-performance team when they are operating exceptionally well.

“I will forever remain very proud of the performances I have contributed to and feel I am leaving the squad well prepared for the final push to Tokyo 2021. My remaining time with the team will be focused on a successful launch in to 2021.”

Manning, himself an Olympic champion rider in the men’s team pursuit squad at the Beijing Games in 2008, has been a constant presence throughout a golden era for British Cycling on the track.

As rivals ramp up the pressure ahead of Tokyo, with both the men’s endurance and sprint riders left playing catch-up at recent events, the women’s endurance squad under Manning has performed the strongest.

They took team pursuit silver at the World Championships in February and only last week claimed gold at the European Championships in Bulgaria, though Manning was not present.

Jon Norfolk, British Cycling’s head of Tokyo performance planning, said: “I would like to congratulate Paul on his fantastic career with the Great Britain cycling team, both as a rider and as a coach, and wish him the very best of luck in his next chapter.

“We fully respect his decision to call time on his coaching career with the Great Britain cycling team, Paul can reflect back with pride at the significant contribution he has made to the success of the women’s endurance squad and he can leave knowing he has laid the foundations for this legacy to continue in Tokyo and beyond.

“We will begin the recruitment for a new podium women’s endurance coach imminently but I am confident that the strength, focus and resilience displayed by all the riders within the squad will ensure we remain on the trajectory for success at the Olympic Games next year.”