Brailsford says ‘any further health issues’ could see him leave role at Ineos helm

Dave Brailsford says that any further health problems could prevent him staying in his role as team principal of the Ineos Grenadiers.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos

Dave Brailsford, who has dealt with health issues in recent years, has told the Guardian that any more health problems could prevent him from staying in his role as team principal of the Ineos Grenadiers.

“If I do have any further health issues, I won’t be able to continue,” he told the Guardian. “I’m pretty clear about that.

“I’m trying to look after myself but I’m here to help other people, to lead and support other people. If the moment comes when you’re trying to support yourself more then it’s time to get out.”

Brailsford, 57, underwent treatment for prostate cancer in 2019. This year, he has had heart issues, undergoing surgery in March.

“When you have what you think are life-threatening moments twice in the space of two years, you wonder what will happen,” Brailsford said. “The cancer one was scary but manageable, but the heart issue felt different, way more scary. Then you start asking the question: ‘How long will my health last?’”

Brailsford mostly stayed out of the media spotlight at the 2021 Tour de France, which was a mixed bag for his team. The Ineos Grenadiers came in hoping to leverage a deep lineup of Grand Tour talents into overall success, but crashes derailed the team’s plans within the first week of the race. Richard Carapaz did still manage to finish on the overall podium, but the dominance of eventual winner Tadej Pogačar was rarely in doubt throughout the race.

According to the Guardian, Brailsford declined to talk about the Richard Freeman investigation, which put the squad formerly known as Team Sky into the headlines several times over the past two years, but refuted the notion that it had impacted his health.

“It’s a stressful job, that goes with the territory,” he said. “Not only in the last year, but over the last 10 years I think. When you’re successful like we have been, you get a lot of questions asked. Coming to France in the past, and the challenges we’ve had – it’s part of the job, and it takes some resilience to deal with that.”

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