GB boss Dave Brailsford is addressing 'gender imbalance'

British Cycling boss Dave Brailsford has said he is close to rolling out a new system for Britain's female riders, in the hope of addressing the "gender imbalance" in road cycling.

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins have achieved high profile road success.

And Brailsford intends to replicate that with future female cyclists.

"We've got some good ideas so we're on the verge of making sure we roll something out," British Cycling's performance director told BBC Sport.

"When you look at the structure of women's cycling on the road there's a gender imbalance between the male and female side, there's no denying that.

"We've also now in British cycling got an incredible group of young talent coming up through the ranks.

"I don't think there is a simple answer but there's an answer. We'll be working at it and thinking about it and finalising soon.

"Rather than just diving in and throwing some money about and coming up with a short-term fix we've been thinking about what we need to do to make sure we've got the best development pathway - to support them in the best way possible and contribute to a more sustainable and higher level competition standard."

Mark Cavendish, Sunday's defending road race world champion, is a product of a British academy set up in Tuscany in 2004.

The same academy produced talents such as high profile road racers Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard.

"Out of that came Geraint and Cav and all the other talented riders and look where they are now," said Brailsford.

"But without that step in the middle being put in place first, many wouldn't have progressed in the way they did."

Britain's Lucy Garner showed the potential in GB women's road cycling by successfully defending her junior world championship on Friday.

And Olympic road race silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead has called for more equality in terms of media coverage and funding for women's cycling.

But Brailsford is not convinced the problems will be solved instantly by creating a female version of Team Sky, the team that helped Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France victory this year and is headed up by Brailsford.

"It's not as simple as that," he said. "It's about British Cycling and participation. We want to make sure we get that development pathway right.

"With Sky as a partner and British Cycling working together there's a real opportunity to do something which is sustainable which makes sure British Cycling maintains the standard."

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