Simon Jones will be stepping down as performance director at AusCycling after the Tokyo Olympics, with the 2017 rookie from Team Sky announcing that he will quit elite cycling just a week before the start of the race at the event that has long been marked. as a litmus test for his performance in the role.
Jones was bought into the job, at what was then called Cycling Australia, after the nation delivered what was seen as a disappointing cycling medal tally at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with only one medal from silver and one bronze on the track. It’s a mandate that has not been without controversy, ranging from selection calls to staff cuts and a contentious Tweet. However, Jones’ clear goal has always been the medal presentation at the Tokyo Olympics, with most of the funding for the Australian cycling organization coming from the government and aimed primarily at ensuring the success of the Olympics.
“Running a high performance program is one of the toughest gigs in sport and while it is sad to say goodbye to Simon, we respect his decision to pursue a new opportunity outside of cycling. ‘elite,’ Marne Fechner, CEO of AusCycling, said in a statement.
“Simon led a focused and focused approach to performance, established a holistic culture of athlete development, provided more detail in the planning, capacity and diversity of the support team and coaching staff, while finding new sponsors and partners who have enabled the development of real world-class equipment and technology. “
Jones’ time at AusCycling included a number of unexpected challenges, a global pandemic and all of its implications – which included a postponement from Tokyo which also led to the retirement of irreplaceable gold medal prospect Stephanie Morton – a big change within the organization itself to bring together the various cycling disciplines under one roof.
“Simon not only helped guide the high performance cycling program through the significant challenge of the COVID19 pandemic, but also played an important role in the reform process that led to the creation of AusCycling,” said declared Fechner.
“The team and coaching staff are motivated and fully prepared to execute their plans in Tokyo and expect their performances to honor Simon’s leadership.”
Jones, who had also previously worked with British Cycling and the Western Australian Institute of Sport, stepped into the role describing a plan that included four to six gold medals in Tokyo. There was also little hindsight as trying to regain the nation’s former role as an Olympic cycling force could be a wave-making process. In 2017, following an amended call for the selection of the women’s team for the World Road Championships, Jones said Cycling news that, “I knew we needed some disruption and we weren’t done yet.”
“I have spent my entire career working at the forefront of professional cycling in a high pressure and very rewarding environment, but now is the time for a change,” Jones said in the weekend’s media statement.
He did not reveal what his next role would be, but said that after considering what he wanted the next stage of his career to look like, he knew the decision to leave was the right one.
“The next phase of my career allows me to pursue my lifelong passion for cycling, stay in Australia, commute less frequently and allow for a timely recruitment process,” Jones said.