22 Jun 2017

Rio problems not unique to cycling

10:48 am on 22 June 2017

Cycling was not alone in problems with culture and leadership at the Rio Olympics says the head of High Performance Sport New Zealand Alex Baumann.

A negative team culture, last minute issues with equipment and coach sickness are all being blamed for the New Zealand cycling team's poor performance at last year's Rio Olympics.

The team was expected to win at least three Olympic medals but only won a silver in the men's team sprint.

A review by High Performance Sport found the team lost its way and got distracted in the leadup to the Games.

Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ, Alex Baumann.

Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ, Alex Baumann. Photo: Photosport

Baumann said the review was "honest and critical."

"A lot of these themes were not just evident in cycling they came across the board. The issue of resilience, the issue of that Olympic pressure cooker came through," said Baumann.

"In cycling there was a feeling the coaches were siloed, that it wasn't a team operating together effectively."

Cycling New Zealand's high performance director Mark Elliott resigned late last year and track coach Tim Carswell has also left the organisation since the Rio Games.

RNZ sought comment from Elliott on the HPSNZ review but he said he hadn't seen the Rio report and had not been asked for any input into it so didn't want to comment.

Baumann says shortcomings in resilience are exposed in an Olympic environment.

"Coming in the Olympics too confident is another issue that has to be dealth with...we do have confidence in the Andrew Matheson the CEO (of Cycling NZ) but there are changes that have to be made."

The changes in attiude and approach though are not something that can happen immediately and will take a couple of years said Bauman.