Victoria Pendleton wants "elite female" in British Cycling management

Pendleton wants more female representation
© PA Photos
Victoria Pendleton is in favour of introduction of "an elite female" into the management and coaching structure in British Cycling.

Double Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton believes that the introduction of "an elite female" into the management and coaching structure in British Cycling will help women cyclists.

The 32-year-old says that women need a different approach to men and that the presence of a woman among the management will help address this issue.

"If I could change one single thing in British cycling, then it would be to put an elite female in a high-up role within the structure," she told BBC Sport.

"Someone who had power, authority and experience all at the same time. That, in one single move, would be the most helpful.

"I do feel their [women's] needs and requirements are sometimes overlooked. [To get the best out of] Myself, in particular, is very different to how you get the best out of [six-time Olympic gold medallist] Sir Chris Hoy."

Pendleton also feels that women can understand better if fellow women are "struggling".

"It does take a female brain to work that out," she continued. "A woman is more likely to have a different emotional intelligence to recognise if someone is struggling.

"I felt that I had to become more male in my approach and my persona in order to survive, rather than the sport catering to me. A lot of girls in the sport feel like this, I feel.

"I would consider coaching but it's not my time now to do it. I feel I haven't had enough experience of coaching to step in and really make a difference at a high level."

Pendleton won the gold medal in the keirin at the 2012 London Olympics and silver in the sprint.

Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26, 2015
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