By Tom Degun

Tony Purnell 2May 14 - British Cycling has announced the appointment of Tony Purnell as their new head of technical development.

Purnell, who has enjoyed a successful career in motor sport, will work across all aspects of technology from improving data analysis to assisting the coaches with the development of organisational software and tools to optimise rider performance.

He will work alongside Barcelona 1992 Olympic individual pursuit champion Chris Boardman, who previously headed the department known as the "secret squirrel club" and who will continue to act as a consultant in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"British Cycling is an exciting organisation to work for and their elite performance record is as good as any in any sport," said Purnell.

"It's a tough challenge to maintain such a standard, yet alone better it, but that has to be the goal.

"I intend to spend the next two or three months meeting the people across all areas of the team and understanding what has been done in the past.

"After that well I just hope to be able to suggest a good direction for the future that delivers the goods."

Sir Dave BrailsfordBritish Cycling performance director Sir Dave Brailsford has welcomed Tony Purnell as the new head of technical development

After studying Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University in the 1970s, Purnell won a prestigious Kennedy Scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his Masters.

He then returned to Britain as a researcher at Cambridge University where his focus was on wind tunnel analysis software.

In late 2002, he was made the Team Principal of the Jaguar Formula One team and from 2006 to 2010 he worked as a technical and strategic adviser for the FIA, the governing body for motor racing.

He is now a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Cambridge University and will continue in his role on a part-time basis alongside his cycling duties.

"We are very fortunate to have some of Tony's experience and ability to work with the riders and coaching staff," British Cycling performance director Sir Dave Brailsford.

"We know that sustaining success is among sport's greatest challenges and the recruitment of Tony is a significant step on the road to Rio."

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