Chris Froome will leave Team Ineos for Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of the year, it has been confirmed.
The end of one of the most successful partnerships in cycling history raises serious questions about the rider's participation in next month's Tour de France.
Froome has been with Ineos since the team's inception, as Team Sky, more than a decade ago.
He has racked up seven grand tour titles, including four Tour crowns, making him one of the most successful grand tour riders.
But the 35-year-old had been strongly linked with a move away in recent months. Froome, who is in the final year of his contract, is desperate to win a record-equalling fifth Tour, and is adamant that he is physically capable of doing so following a career-threatening crash 12 months ago.
However, with Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, the past two winners of the Tour, also on Ineos's books, the British team have three potential leaders, and there was no way Froome was going to be given sole leadership this year.
That was one of the reasons Froome was rumoured to be considering a rare mid-season switch, with Israel understood to have offered him a three-year deal, matching his £5 million annual salary and guaranteeing him sole Tour leadership this year.
© Daily Telegraph, London