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Brailsford: Team Sky takeover is fantastic news for all involved

 

Team Sky will race on under the name Team INEOS after securing the backing of Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Team Sky will race on under the name Team INEOS after securing the backing of Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

By Ian Parker

Team Sky will race on under the name Team INEOS after securing the backing of Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The change will come as early as May, with a squad expected to include four-time Tour winner Chris Froome due to line up at the Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster under the branding on May 2.

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford had been looking for new funding from 2020 after Sky announced in December they were stepping away from the sport at the end of this year, but the media company have agreed to sell the team's holding company Tour Racing Limited to Ratcliffe's INEOS company on May 1.

"Today's announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans and for the sport more widely," Brailsford said. "It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future."

The deal represents a major victory for Brailsford, who faced a hugely difficult task in replacing the deep pockets of Sky. A budget dwarfing those of the team's rivals helped deliver victories in six of the last seven editions of the Tour de France.

Sky's withdrawal had come as a shock to Brailsford when it was announced last year, with the team having just handed lengthy contract extensions to Tour winner Geraint Thomas and rising prospect Egan Bernal.

A team statement said INEOS "will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners".

Thomas wrote on Twitter: "Super happy that the team can continue and stay together!! Thank you to Sky, hello to INEOS."

Froome followed suit, writing: "So excited that we as riders and staff will be able to continue on together for 2020 and beyond. Looking forward to continued success as Team INEOS!"

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