JLA in the Press

Sir Bradley Wiggins calls Sir Dave Brailsford’s marginal gains mantra ‘a load of rubbish’ and he wouldn’t put his mother in car from sponsors Skoda
Posted on March 27, 2017

Sir Bradley Wiggins has dismissed the marginal gains process at the centre of British Cycling’s success under Sir Dave Brailsford as ‘a load of rubbish’.

Wiggins was also critical of fellow Olympic gold-medallist Victoria Pendleton and sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters, who worked with Brailsford at British Cycling and Team Sky and created the ‘chimp paradox’ model for dealing with pressure.

Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman originally headed up British Cycling’s ‘Secret Squirrel Club’, now known as ‘Room X’ under head of technical development Tony Purnell, to find any slight advantage through modifications to bike technology and riders’ clothing.

Wiggins won eight Olympic medals, including five golds, as well as the Tour de France for Brailsford’s Team Sky but he said at a JLA motivational breakfast event on Friday: ‘A lot of people made a lot of money out of it and David Brailsford used it constantly as his calling card, but I always thought it was a load of rubbish.

‘It’s a bit like the whole chimp thing. At the end of the day, chimp theories and marginal gains and all these buzzwords – a lot of the time, I just think you have got to get the fundamentals right: go ride your bike, put the work in, and you’re either good or you’re not good.

‘Sometimes in life or in sport, whatever, you’re either good at something or you’re not. That’s what makes you a better athlete: your physical ability and whether you’ve trained enough – not whether you’ve slept on a certain pillow or mattress.’

Wiggins was also questioned by host Sarah-Jane Mee on Friday at the event that he was reported to have used a special mattress during his 2012 Tour victory but he was dismissive.

He said: ‘Yeah, but that was just the sprinkles on the top. Underneath it all was this dedication and this sacrifice and something mentally instilled in you from a young age that made you do what you did as a teenager and made you go out in the rain and all that stuff.’

Wiggins then added: ‘In some ways it’s almost a bit disrespectful for these people to come along and say, ‘Yeah, it’s because we made him sleep on this certain pillow, or he drank this certain drink before this race’.

Pendleton, who won sprint gold at Beijing 2008 and the keirin at London 2012, has credited Dr Peters as a major part of her success.

But Wiggins said: ‘Vicky’s a bit of a milkshake anyway. You can overanalyse things but at the end of the day, it’s about your ability and whether you’re a better athlete than the other person or not.

‘Whether you’ve come to grips with this other person living inside you, it’s all a bit… well, each to his own. That may work with some people, but as Roy Keane would say: it’s utter nonsense.’

Wiggins made no mention in the interview of the ongoing investigation into a medical package delivered to him at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Wiggins was also asked whether he would put his mother in a Skoda, in which he has an advertising deal with the car manufacturer.

However, in the Q+A, he was quick to insist that he would never put his mum in one of their cars, saying: ‘Nah, I wouldn’t put her in a Skoda.’

Original article appears here

Blazin’ Saddles: Bradley Wiggins slams ‘rubbish’ marginal gains
Posted on March 25, 2017

In his first public appearance since breaking a leg on The Jump, TV celebrity, occasional downhill skier and former cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has distanced himself from the hand that fed him by slamming the cult of marginal gains espoused by his old Team Sky boss, Sir David Brailsford.

Speaking at a JLA motivational breakfast event for corporate types in the City of London on Friday, the 2012 Tour de France champion and five-time Olympic gold medallist said marginal gains were “a load of rubbish” and labelled his former Team GB colleague Victoria Pendleton “a bit of a milkshake”.

At a time when Dave Brailsford’s ailing PR machine seems intent on aggregating marginal losses following a raft of scandals, the man at the centre of Sky’s apparent abuse of the TUE system took to the stage to distance himself from the team’s general manager and former performance director of British Cycling.

When asked by host Sarah-Jane Mee – the Sky News presenter whose limelight-seeking penchants for witty asides and pally rib-tickling should see her write her surname in triplicate – about his understanding of marginal gains, the bearded Wiggins was unequivocal.

“I think it’s a load of rubbish, if I’m honest. I do,” Wiggins, sharply dressed in a dark grey suit and a white shirt, said – much to the amusement of the 300-strong audience. “A lot of people made a lot of money out of it and David Brailsford used it constantly as his calling card. But I always thought it was a load of rubbish.

“It’s a bit like the whole chimp thing,” Wiggins added, referring to the life work of the British psychiatrist Steve Peters, Team Sky’s former head of medicine and author of management gospel ‘The Chimp Paradox’. He added:

” At the end of the day, chimp theories and marginal gains and all these buzz words – a lot of the time, I just think you have got to get the fundamentals right: go ride your bike, put the work in, and you’re either good or you’re not good. Sometimes in life or in sport, whatever, you’re either good at something or you’re not. That’s what makes you a better athlete: your physical ability and whether you’ve trained enough – not whether you’ve slept on a certain pillow or mattress.”

Reminded by Mee that he indeed was reported to have used a special mattress during his 2012 Tour victory, a game Wiggins was equally dismissive.

“Yeah, but that was just the sprinkles on the top. Underneath it all was this dedication and this sacrifice and something mentally instilled in you from a young age that made you do what you did as a teenager and made you go out in the rain and all that stuff.”

Now hitting his stride, Wiggins – who appeared on stage after a screening of his latest Skoda advert, and who mentioned his home London borough of Kilburn on just nine occasions throughout the 50-minute session – added: “In some ways it’s almost a bit disrespectful for these people to come along and say, ‘Yeah, it’s because we made him sleep on this certain pillow, or he drunk this certain drink before this race’.

” So I think that marginal gains are more for other people maybe to justify their jobs. I think it’s true. Fundamentals – talent, hard work and dedication – are more important. Because that 5% on top – that’s not going to make you win the bike race if you don’t have the other 95% underneath.”

Now milking the Middle Aged Men In Suits audience for easy dress-down-Friday laughs, Wiggins – with his trademark combination of self-deprecation and arrogance – boasted: “Me? I can sleep anywhere – even the floor here – and go on and win the Olympic gold the next day.

” I didn’t really matter to me. I think you get too wrapped up in all these things – this is what’s important, this is what’s going to make the difference – when actually I think you need to look at the broader picture, make sure everything else is right. The same with the whole chimp theory – that there’s a chimp living inside you. It never struck a chord with me. The people it struck a chord with are those who made fortunes selling it and telling you it’s the best thing since microwaves.”

When reminded that such a man – Professor Peters himself – worked very closely, and to much acclaim, with the likes of Victoria Pendleton and irascible snooker hotshot Ronnie O’Sullivan, Wiggins couldn’t resist caving in to the demon on his shoulders.

“But Victoria Pendleton said that without this chimp theory she couldn’t have won all her medals,” said Mee (Me Me), teeing things up for Bradley.

“But Vicky’s a bit of a milkshake anyway,” came the response, which had the (largely male) audience in raptures.

Perhaps keep to shift the focus away from Peters – previously dubbed “the man behind the medals” by British media – Wiggins concluded: “You can overanalyse things but at the end of the day it’s about your ability and whether you’re a better athlete than the other person or not. Whether you’ve come to grips with this other person living inside you, it’s all a bit… well, each to his own. That may work with some people, but as Roy Keane would say: it’s utter nonsense.”

Over the course of the event, Wiggins – who only mentioned his former Tesco shelf-stacking friends from Kilburn on three occasions, and his pals “on the fag counter at Waitrose” just the once – was on rambunctious form, eliciting more laughs from the crowd than a whole series of Live at the Apollo. Highlights included:

Mee: How did your mum cope?

Wiggins: She loved it. I mean, it worked out all right for her. She got a new fridge…

Mee: Did you get her a Skoda?

Wiggins: Nah, I wouldn’t put her in a Skoda.

Wiggins: You go and work at KFC and you know you’re going to serve chicken.

Mee: Or not…

Mee: Are you going to miss cycling now you’ve retired?

Wiggins: No. As much as I love cycling, it’s come full circle and I hate the thing now. I haven’t been on the bike since the Six Days of Gent back in November. I needed a complete break from it. I’ve taken up another sport which I’m doing just as a follow-up at the moment…

Mee: What sport’s that?

Wiggins: I can’t tell you. But that’s kept me busy. I don’t want to get fat. I’m paying a coach £90 a month to give me a monthly training plan.

Mee: Any regrets?

Wiggins: No, it all happened for me. I’ve been ticking boxes for the last four or five years. I can retire completely content. I’ve got five Olympic Gold medals. I haven’t got four. I mean, five sounds better. I’ve got no demons.

The London Olympics were phenomenal. I remember telling [rugby player and A Question Of Sport captain] Matt Dawson – who was famous for wearing gloves in the rugby World Cup final – that it’s never going to get any better than this. And Dave Brailsford was behind me and he said [putting on accent] ‘Don’t just say that, Bradley…’ But this was it, my definitive moment in sport.

And when it came to choosing between the Jam or Paul Weller, Wiggins refused to give an answer: “One comes from the other. You wouldn’t have sliced bread without a loaf of bread.”

At one point, towards the end of the Q&A, Wiggins even accused the host of yawning. Stressing that it was merely a “sharp intake of breath,” Mee quickly moved on to “one final question, because we’re running out of time…” to which Wiggins – bang on cue – breezily added: “… because we’re all getting tired, eh?”

Laughing it off, Mee said: “Look, I’ve had a busy week and me and you, we talk quite a lot and I’ve heard it all before.”

Which is quite apt because, to be fair to Bradley, we’ve all heard it before really, haven’t we? We know his story and his shtick. We know about Kilburn and shelf-stacking in Tesco and how easy it was to break the Hour Record because he had already done it in training.

But what we still don’t know is what was in the mystery package.

Of course, there were no probing questions at an event which was meant to be celebratory and straight-down-the-line. Presumably it was understood: no awkward questions about jiffy bags, prescription drugs, needles or asthma. And can you blame him? This was hardly the forum for such questions. It wasn’t, after all, a probing House of Commons anti-doping committee to which Wiggins was inexplicably never invited.

And in his defence, Wiggo did at least have the mirth to allude to the turbulent events of the last few months that have dogged Team Sky and questioned his own legacy.

“Cycling has become cool now,” Wiggins said during an anecdote about riding with a bunch of youngsters from Hackney, “or it had done in the last couple of years before British Cycling and the Death Star went into meltdown the last few months.”

Cue laughs from the crowd and a smile from Mee, who clearly knew that she couldn’t pounce on this for fear of a walk-out. Later, when she asked Wiggins whether or not he’d be happy if his son was to try his hand at following in his footsteps and becoming a cyclist, Wiggins said: “The way things are going at the moment – no.”

Instead, Wiggins felt much more comfortable looking forward, not backwards, and discussing his next moves – which, besides taking up a new mystery sport, involves more “self-indulgent” TV work. Starting this weekend with an appearance on Soccer AM alongside the band Kasabian where chances of a jiffy bag own-goal are minimal.

Original article appears here

Speaker-for-hire Hague earns £1.3m
Posted on January 27, 2017

William Hague’s formidable skills as an orator led to him being dubbed “the David Beckham of toasting” by Hillary Clinton. Since departing the Commons, the former foreign secretary’s verbal flourishes are now helping him to build earnings to match the title.

Freed from the constraints of high office, Lord Hague of Richmond carried out 54 speaking engagements last year, a rhetorical odyssey that earned him £1.3 million and saw him clock up enough air miles to take him more than twice round the world. A series of other directorships, advisory posts and writing jobs took his potential earnings to almost £2 million in 2016.

It is his packed speaking schedule that drove his earnings last year. His speeches are organised through the JLA agency, which rates him as an “AA” speaker — the highest cost band with a price per speech of over £25,000. Lord Hague, 55, even made more than one speech a day on three occasions. His engagements have included a cybersecurity conference and compering a business awards show.

The butt of his jokes is often the current foreign secretary. At the National Business Awards Lord Hague poked fun at Boris Johnson for describing Brexit as a “titanic success”.

More recently he has taken aim at Donald Trump. At the WhatHouse? awards he said the problem with political jokes was that “they have started to get elected”. He even read a mock letter from the president, stating: “I believe in the special relationship with your country — which is just as well, as I’ve already pissed off most of the others.”

Corporate clients have paid for his thoughts on Brexit. At a BNP Paribas conference he advised companies to start lobbying the government on tax and cutting red tape.

“Amidst all the disadvantages, find the advantages and start communicating rapidly with government about what are the regulations that can now be changed that make it easier to do business in Britain,” he said. “There might be ten years of rewriting laws and doing new regulations. Businesses need to get in on that very quickly.”

Those who have heard his speeches describe them as entertaining and frank. They tend to last for about 15 minutes and are followed by lengthy Q&A sessions.

Other posts have helped to boost his income. Industry sources said he would earn about £100,000 for chairing an advisory group for the law firm Linklaters and at least £200,000 for his role as senior adviser to the corporate advisory company Teneo Holdings.

He also has a fortnightly column contract for The Daily Telegraph that is thought to run into six figures and is the director of Intercontinental Exchange, which owns exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets. He earned £191,000 from the post in 2015. His earnings are set to increase further this year after he took an advisory role with Citigroup.

Lord Hague and his wife Ffion, 48, bought Cyfronydd Hall, a ten-bedroom home in Powys, Wales, in 2015. On sale for £2.5 million, it in fact went for £1.75 million.

A spokesman did not comment on Lord Hague’s earnings but said his advice on lobbying the government over tax and regulation before Brexit was “a commonsense observation”.

  • “The trouble now with political jokes is that they have started to get elected. This makes it a little more difficult.”
  • “I saw a bumper sticker just before the American election that said: ‘Cheer up, only one of them can win’.”
  • “When I first went to campaign for Boris [Johnson] in North Wales, where he was a candidate, I said: ‘How are you getting on, Boris?’ He said: ‘It’s going to be huge’ . . . and the Labour majority was huge in that particular election.”
  • “We have had foreign secretaries in bigger trouble. One of my predecessors was George Brown. He loved a drink. He thought you didn’t count as drunk if you could lie on the floor without having to hold on to it at the same time.”

Original article appears here

 

William Hague earned £1.3million as the ‘David Beckham of toasting’ by making 54 speeches last year charging more than £25,000 a time
Posted on January 27, 2017

On the face of things William Hague and David Beckham would appear to have very little in common – but that did not stop Hillary Clinton making a surprising comparison between the two.

The failed Democrat presidential candidate lauded the former Conservative leader as ‘the David Beckham of toasting’ because of his success on the public speaking scene since departing the Commons.

Lord Hague, 55, dashed around the globe for 54 different engagements last year and on three occasions even managed to squeeze two into one day.

His speeches last year accounted for around £1.3million of his £2million total earnings for 2016, with an evening with Lord Hague often costing around £25,000 for a 15-minute talk and subsequent Q&A session, according to The Times.

And he has not been scared to take aim at fellow top politicians, including the current incumbent of his former role as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as well as Donald Trump and other senior figures.

At the National Business Awards, he poked fun at Boris for labelling Brexit as a ‘Titanic success’ and said of Trump ‘The problem with political jokes is that they are starting to get elected.’

Lord Hague’s speeches are organised through the JLA agency, which rates him as a ‘AA’ speaker.

That is the highest cost band, with a price per speech of more than £25,000.

The former Foreign Secretary has even racked up enough air miles to take him more than twice around the world.

Speeches have proved an extremely popular way for MPs to cash in when they step away from the limelight, with George Osborne the latest to jump on the bandwagon following his dismissal as Chancellor.

Since his sacking last July, he has already amassed more than £600,000 from public appearances.

But this was met by criticism, given that he is still the serving MP for Tatton. Former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: ‘The public expect MPs to allocate their time representing their constituents’ interests, not building up a massive income.’

And former Prime Minister David Cameron, who is no longer in the Commons at all, was paid an eye-watering £120,000 to speak for just one hour talk to Blackstone Properties in New York.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair has gone on to make an estimated fortune of £27 million since leaving frontline politics.

A spokesman for Lord Hague declined to comment on the figures yesterday.

Original article appears here 

Articles

  1. 2018

    October

  2. 2017

    March

    January

  3. 2016

    October

    January

  4. 2015

    December

    June

    April

  5. 2014

    August

    June

    January

  6. 2013

    September

    May

    January

  7. 2012

    September

  8. 2011

    September

    June

  9. 2010

    December

    November

    August

    May

    April

    March

  10. 2009

    November

    June

    April

    March

    February

  11. 2008

    December

    November

    October

    September

    March

  12. 2007

    December

    August

    June

    April

  13. 2006

    December

    September

    February

  14. 2005

    October

    August

    June

    January

  15. 2004

    October

    May

    March

  16. 2003

    December

    October

    July

    April

  17. 2001

    April

    March

  18. 1996

    July