Dave Brailsford has hinted he could step down as Ineos Grenadiers boss due to health concerns.
The 57-year-old team principal was in Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday but has not been visible at any other stage.
Brailsford was treated for prostate cancer in 2019 and earlier this year needed surgery after suffering a heart issue.
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He admits he may have to stand down if his health gets any worse.
“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.
“When you have what you think are life-threatening moments twice in the space of two years, you wonder what will happen.
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?’
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The former Team Sky boss says his health has not worsened because of stress relating to the medical tribunal into former team doctor Richard Freeman, who was guilty of ordering testosterone “knowing or believing” it was for a rider.
He added: “It’s a stressful job, that goes with the territory. 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.”
Brailsford’s team has failed to add to its Tour de France overall wins for the second year running, but he has defended the work of the team.
He said: “When we came into the race, we knew we were up against what we thought was going to be two very strong contenders in [Tadej] Pogacar and Primoz Roglic. We felt, off the back of the week-long stage races [we had won], with the guys in form, that we’d be able to have a multi-pronged attack. But that first week Geraint [Thomas] crashed, there were crashes for the other guys and that changed the dynamic for us totally.
“We never got into the flow of it from there and it changed the opportunities for us. Roglic crashing out also changed the dynamic of the race so it ended up being a very different race than we expected.
“On the other hand I’m very proud of Carapaz. He’s the first Ecuadorian to finish on the podium of the Tour, he’s ridden with such heart and commitment.
This is our 34th Grand Tour and we’ve won 12 and I don’t think that’s an accident. There have been two Grand Tours this year. We have won one and finished third in the other. We have won more stage races this year than we have ever won, so I’m not sure where any pessimism is coming from.
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