Monday 16 September 2019

Sky announces its withdrawal from cycling after next year, ending Team Sky ownership

Geraint Thomas won last year's Tour de France from team Sky CREDIT: REUTERS
Geraint Thomas won last year's Tour de France from team Sky CREDIT: REUTERS
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sky has announced that it will no longer be involved with cycling after 2019, bringing an end to its nine-year ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky.

The team, for which Geraint Thomas rode to Tour de France victory earlier this year, will compete for the final time in the 2019 season. It will continue to race under a new name if a backer can be found to fund it from 2020 onwards.

Sky have been enormously successful, registering 322 all-time wins including eight Grand Tours, 52 other stage races and 25 one-day races. Sir Bradley Wiggins’ became the first ever British rider to win the Tour de France as part of the team in 2012, while Chris Froome has won four with Sky since 2013.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group Chief Executive, said: “We came into cycling with the aim of using elite success to inspire greater participation at all levels. After more than a decade of involvement, I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved with Team Sky and our long-standing partners at British Cycling.

"But the end of 2019 is the right time for us to move on as we open a new chapter in Sky’s story and turn our focus to different initiatives including our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.

“I’d like to pay a special tribute to Dave Brailsford and the immensely talented team of riders and staff he has assembled at Team Sky.

"What they have achieved together would have been beyond the dreams of many just a few years ago.”

Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal, said: “The vision for Team Sky began with the ambition to build a clean, winning team around a core of British riders and staff. The team’s success has been the result of the talent, dedication and hard work of a remarkable group of people who have constantly challenged themselves to scale new heights of performance.

"None of this would have been possible without Sky. We are proud of the part we have played in Britain’s transformation into a cycling nation over the last decade."

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