• Ross Edgar with Matthew Glaetzer in 2018 (Getty)Source: Getty
Sprint coach Ross Edgar says he has just under 60 days to leave the country with his partner and four-month old son after he and several other Australian Cycling Team staff members were shown the door in a restructure.
By
Cycling Central

19 May 2020 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 19 May 2020 - 9:55 AM

The Scotsman and former Olympian joined the Australian track program three years ago from the dominant British Cycling system, appointed by Simon Jones who Edgar says is solely responsible for the overhaul of which he is highly critical.

In a Cycling Australia (CA) statement released last Thursday, performance director Jones announced the restructure of the high performance program which included the redundancies of seven unspecfied staff members and a further refocusing of four roles in order to "increase the chance of success in 2021."

Seven staff members to go in Cycling Australia restructure
Seven staff members will leave the Australian Cycling Team with a further four offered 'refocused' positions following a review of Cycling Australia's high peformance strategy and operations.

The press release also said Cycling Australia would recruit a number of new positions including a director of coaching and director of performance pathways but the exact number was not specified. 

Edgar was scathing of the review and hinted at broader unrest. 

"No consultation, no compensation, no remorse," he said. "This gives us 60 days to leave Australia with our 4-month-old baby boy in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. Thankyou Simon!

"We were not consulted about these changes and neither were the (other) redundancies. Nor it seems any other head staff or athletes and those that remain employed and not a part of this facade were promptly informed by Senior Management after our departure."

Edgar also believes the shake up will cause unncessary instability among athletes and staff he will now no longer mentor through to their biggest objective, the Tokyo Olympics.

"Continuity is vital at this stage of an Athlete Centric Program, the relationship between Athlete and Coach having been carefully honed and understood over the previous three years of an Olympic cycle. 

"Simon's 'restructure' is a major change and will see a reduction in support for all coaching rolls (sic) which will impact heavily on the resources available to Athletes and fundamentally changing how all coaches work leading up to the games. 

"This shows that there was little to no consideration for the Athletes themselves and with Simon's program strategy purely based on Olympic success." 

"One could say that this is a very unproven move considering the sprint program is a successful one and the short period of time to the Games."

Jones was criticised by many within Australian cycling after a tweet (now deleted) surfaced in which he colourfully addressed critics of the track team's performance at the world championships earlier this year. 

At the time, CA's CEO Steve Drake said the tweet was a breach of the organisation's code of conduct but was a "momentary aberration" that did not warrant disciplinary action. 

Edgar's open letter sparked a number of discussions on social media last night including this tweet from 2011 omnium world champion Michael Freiberg.

This follows a number of high profile riders being dumped from the track program in the past few years resulting in two defections (Shane Perkins to Russia, Jordan Kerby to New Zealand) and just two weeks ago, Caitlin Ward had this to say on Instagram after she was cut from the program. 

Cycling Central contacted Cycling Australia on Friday with a number of questions about the restructure but has still not received a response.