“Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of Team Sky to INEOS. INEOS will become the sole owners of Tour Racing Limited (the team’s holding company) from 1 May this year and will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners,” read a statement from Team Sky on Tuesday.
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer
Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of Team Sky to INEOS. INEOS will become the sole owners of Tour Racing Limited (the team’s holding company) from 1 May this year and will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners.
The launch of Team INEOS will take place at the Tour de Yorkshire which starts in Doncaster on 2 May.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman and Chief Executive of INEOS, said: “Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world. Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments. INEOS is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team.”
Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group CEO, said: “We are pleased that the team’s future has been secured under new ownership. This brings to a close Sky’s decade-long involvement with cycling, which has created unprecedented success and inspired millions more people to cycle regularly. I’d like to thank all members of Team Sky, past and present, for their contribution to our journey together. We wish the team and INEOS all the best for the future and look forward to watching the next chapter in the story.”
Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal, said: “Today’s announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely. It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future. In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike. It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team INEOS. I would like to personally thank Jeremy Darroch, who over a decade ago had the vision to back us when others thought we were crazy. His support for the team through thick and thin has been remarkable and everyone at Team Sky thanks him for all he has done for our sport.”
The practicalities of the transfer are subject to further discussion with the Union Cycliste Internationale.
1 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky 1:55:56
2 Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
3 Brenton Jones (Aus) KordaMentha Australian Team
4 Alex Frame (NZl) Trek-Segafredo
5 Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First Pro Cycling
6 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Wouter Wippert (Aus) EvoPro Racing
8 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling
9 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
10 Theodore Yates (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic
11 Nicholas White (Aus) Team Bridgelane
12 Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane
13 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
1 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 13:24:38
2 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:24
3 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling 0:01:52
4 Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:02:13
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
6 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:25
7 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky 0:02:30
8 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Sky 0:03:21
9 Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:04:29
10 Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:04:55
1 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky 48 pts
2 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 48
3 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 44
4 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling 24
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 16
6 Cyrus Monk (Aus) EvoPro Racing 12
7 Hayden Mccormick (NZl) Team Bridgelane
8 Owain Doull (Gbr) Team Sky 8 pts
9 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
1 Team Sky 40:16:52
2 Mitchelton-Scott 0:04:38
3 Team Bridgelane 0:09:00
4 Trek-Segafredo 0:15:09
5 Team Sapura Cycling 0:32:51
6 EF Education First 0:34:39
7 Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:41:17
8 Kordamentha Real Estate National Men’s Team 0:43:55
9 Evopro Racing 0:46:33
10 Oliver’s Real Food Racing 0:51:22
11 Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team 1:06:16
12 St George Continental Cycling Team 1:08:17
1. 7 Nicholas SCHULTZ (MTS) AUS 2h45:42
2. 27 Dylan VAN BAARLE (SKY) NED +0
3. 53 Chris HARPER (BLN) AUS +1:45
4. 77 Alistair DONOHOE (ACA) AUS +2:14
5. 21 Kenny ELISSONDE (SKY) FRA +2:14
6. 31 Michael WOODS (EF1) CAN +2:14
7. 2 Lucas HAMILTON (MTS) AUS +2:14
8. 11 Richie PORTE (TFS) AUS +2:27
9. 54 Dylan SUNDERLAND (BLN) AUS +2:39
10. 26 Pavel SIVAKOV (SKY) RUS +2:39
1. 27 Dylan VAN BAARLE (SKY) NED 11h28:42
2. 7 Nicholas SCHULTZ (MTS) AUS +24
3. 31 Michael WOODS (EF1) CAN +1:52
4. 11 Richie PORTE (TFS) AUS +2:09
5. 53 Chris HARPER (BLN) AUS +2:13
6. 21 Kenny ELISSONDE (SKY) FRA +2:19
7. 2 Lucas HAMILTON (MTS) AUS +2:21
8. 26 Pavel SIVAKOV (SKY) RUS +3:10
9. 54 Dylan SUNDERLAND (BLN) AUS
10. 1 Damien HOWSON (MTS) AUS +4:44
1. 24 Christian KNEES (SKY) GER 48 pt
2. 7 Nicholas SCHULTZ (MTS) AUS 48
3. 27 Dylan VAN BAARLE (SKY) NED 44
1. SKY TEAM SKY (27, 21, 26) 8h21:59
2. MTS MITCHELTON – SCOTT (7, 2, 1) +1:30
3. BLN TEAM BRIDGELANE (53, 54, 57) +3:06
4. TFS TREK – SEGAFREDO (11, 17, 16) +10:26
5. TSC TEAM SAPURA CYCLING (111, 113, 112) +14:58
6. EF1 EF EDUCATION FIRST (31, 37, 33) +22:25
7. AUS KORDAMENTHA REAL ESTATE NATIONAL MEN’S TEAM (47, 42, 41) +24:05
8. OLI OLIVER’S REAL FOOD RACING (61, 62, 65) +24:48
9. ACA PRO RACING SUNSHINE COAST (77, 72, 75) +27:17
10. EVO EVOPRO RACING (103, 106, 101) +28:20
1 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky 3:28:47
2 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
3 Liam White (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic 0:00:29
4 Luke Mudgway (Aus) EvoPro Racing 0:00:36
5 Ryan Cavanagh (Aus) St George Continental
6 Conor Murtagh (Aus) Oliver’s Real Food Racing
7 Neil Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:00:39
8 William Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
9 Nathan Elliot (Aus) KordaMentha Australian Team 0:00:42
10 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky 0:01:19
11 Brenton Jones (Aus) KordaMentha Australian Team
1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling 5:12:32
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:04
3 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky 0:00:27
4 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:29
5 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:31
6 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Sky 0:00:53
7 Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:00:54
8 Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:57
9 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
10 Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:04
11 Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:02:08
12 Sam Jenner (Aus) KordaMentha Australian Team
13 Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) Trek-Segafredo
14 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo
Tour Down Under stage six: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Wout Poels finished second on the final stage of Tour Down Under to seal third overall as Richie Porte took the honours on Willunga Hill.
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer 15.4.18 Wout Poels beim AGR 2018
Poels worked hard to break the Porte monopoly on the iconic climb, but despite a strong game plan and excellent support from Kenny Elissonde and Dylan van Baarle in particular, Poels was overtaken by the former Team Sky rider in the final kilometre.
Daryl Impey finished third to top the General Classification, with previous race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) dropped on the final ascent of WIllunga, clearly still suffering from the injuries sustained in the closing kilometres of stage five.
After an early breakaway failed to sustain their advantage as the ascent to Willunga Hill started, the Team Sky duo of Elissonde and Poels tested the water with an attack over the summit, however the pair eased up on the descent.
This let up was short-lived however as Van Baarle then led the way with a fierce tempo on the second climb of Willunga which prevented any attacks from the other GC contenders, Elissonde then broke free of the leaders and allowed Poels to bridge to him and launch his decisive attack.
Porte was the only rider able to match Poels and the pair were inseparable until the Australian rider kicked on again and sealed his sixth successive stage win on this climb.
@ Team SKY
Anmerkung Gerhard Plomitzer:
Ich frage mich, wäre es nicht besser gewesen, auf die Attacke bei der ersten Passage des Willunga Hills zu verzichten und so die Kräfte für den Schlußanstieg zu sparen?
Es waren noch 20km bei teils Gegenwind zu fahren. Bei der Attacke bei der erstmaligen Bezwingung des Willunga Hills fuhr Kelly Elissonde vor Wout Poels über die Bergwertung, wäre die Reihenfolge Poels vor Elissonde gewesen, wäre Wout Poels auch Sieger in der Bergwertung geworden, so lag er punktemäßig gleichauf mit Jason Lea, der so die Bergwertung gewinnen konnte. Aber dem jungen Australier vom Team UNISA-Australia sei dieser Erfolg gegönnt und Team SKY hatte sicherlich nur den Etappensieg bzw. Rundfahrtsieg vor Augen.
Team Sky were pleased to welcome three young prospects out to our Mallorca January training camp.
French riders Axel Zingle and Thomas Acosta, as well as Italian rider Andrea Bagioli, joined the team for the middle training block on the island.
Working alongside our riders, including Michal Kwiatkowski, David de la Cruz and Ian Stannard, the trio were able to live and train like Team Sky riders for three days as they continue their development.
Team Sky Performance Director Rod Ellingworth explained why the team extended the invite to the trio.
He said: „It’s good to keep looking at younger guys and thinking about the future of the team. I had strong connections in France when I used to race there and have kept in touch with Christophe Andre, who works with CC Etupes. They have some good talent coming through.
„You can look at results but it’s also about people’s commitment and when people I trust say these young riders have the desire and commitment, then it’s worth giving them the opportunity even if they don’t have the results on the road. We’re always open to ideas.
„Andrea was invited through our connections with Pinarello. Thomas and Axel are fairly new to road cycling and don’t have a lot of experience, but everybody was impressed by them – they coped well with the workload and did really well.
„We’ll keep looking for opportunities to bring people into camps and give people opportunities. It’s brilliant to give riders the opportunity to see how we work as a team and if we can help young guys out then great.“
Zingle, 20, is a professional mountain bike rider with Absolute-Absalon and has his sights set on the 2024 Olympics, in Paris.
He said: „My Sport Director spoke with Christophe Andre and asked if I would be interested in joining the team at camp. Of course I said yes! It’s been great. It’s very cool. Everything is very well planned and it’s very fun to ride with the pros.
„My objective on the mountain bike is to get a medal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. I’ve been working towards this for a lot of years. Also, I take a lot of pleasure on the road. For the moment I’m just enjoying racing but in the future we will see. I will have to eventually pick one discipline. But my goal is the 2024 Olympics.“
Acosta, 21, echoed his friend’s sentiments, and hopes to keep challenging himself on the bike over the next two years.
He said: „It’s very impressive to see the organisation around the camp. There is a lot to learn from this – how everything works and is organised.
„The objective is to become a professional in the coming two years. Last season started well and then I got injured.
„The big dream would be to join a pro team at the highest level but I want to know where I stand in races at a higher level first. I will go with the flow.“
Wout Poels is hoping to start his 2019 season with a bang at the Tour Down Under.
Poels will lead the Team Sky charge in the first race of the campaign and the Dutchman has been working hard over the winter to be ready for 2019’s curtain raiser.
Currently training in Brisbane with teammates Dylan van Baarle and Pavel Sivakov, Wout has been enjoying acclimatising to the Australian summer.
“Normally we would arrive two days before a race but of course with the time difference, plus the fact it’s full summer over here, it made sense to come out here for two weeks before the race starts. It’s good, especially with the weather – it’s important to acclimatise. Today it was 30, 32 degrees, and it’s humid – so we’re sweating a lot!
“I’ve never done the Tour Down Under and I’ve always thought it’s an interesting race to do. I started to think about it last year, spoke to Tim [Kerrison], and I think it’s a nice goal to start the season with.”
Wout, Pavel and Dylan will travel to Adelaide on the 10th of January to meet up with the rest of the team’s Tour Down Under squad.
“You’re never too sure what to expect from the first race of the season,” explained Poels, “but I’ve been training well. The whole winter went to plan. Hopefully we can do something nice at TDU – that’s the goal. We will see.”
After the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Poels will head back to Europe and is likely to tackle the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico, before attacking the Ardennes.
Since winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2016 – Team Sky’s first Monument victory – Poels has not been able to hit the Ardennes at 100%. After being forced to skip them due to a knee injury in 2017, 2018 was only a little better – Amstel Gold was his first race back after breaking his collarbone at Paris-Nice.
“I love racing the Ardennes,” continued Poels, “although it wasn’t the easiest first block back after a broken collarbone last year!
“I always have a few key goals for the season. I’d like to really do well in the Ardennes Classics – that’s important to me – but I always like to do well in all of the races I start.
“Of course I would like to get selected for the Tour again, to support the boys there, but I’ll try to be good everywhere I start.
“People like to have one clear target but I never look at it like that. New year, new season – I have to smash it everywhere!”
Team Sky can confirm that Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will focus their 2019 seasons around the Tour de France, with Egan Bernal set to lead his first Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia.
Froome, who is targeting a record-equalling fifth Tour title, and defending champion Thomas will take to the start line in Brussels on July 6. Bernal, who enjoyed a revelatory first season at WorldTour level, will lead the team at the Giro, starting in Bologna on May 11.
Explaining his decision to target the Tour, Froome said: „It’s been a hard decision to figure out exactly what to do in 2019 and figure out which Grand Tours to focus on, especially having won the Giro last year and having had such an amazing time out there with the team – but for 2019, my number one objective is going to be the Tour de France.
„It was definitely a difficult decision not to go back to the Giro d’Italia and defend the maglia rosa. I’ve got some amazing memories from last year, but I think, with the Tour de France as my main objective, it’s probably better that I skip the Giro d’Italia in 2019.
„I’m getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders – only four other people have ever done that – it would just be incredible.“
Thomas also confirmed that he will be targeting the Tour in 2019, as well as eyeing the time trial World Championships which are being held on British soil in Yorkshire.
He said: „The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can. Maybe if I hadn’t have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100% as well.
„The year will be geared around that, but I’m also looking forward to a slightly different programme as well, and obviously after the Tour, the Worlds in Yorkshire will be massive.
„I think the time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it. It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment. They’re going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that.“
Bernal, 21, is excited about tackling the Giro for the first time – a race close to his heart.
He said: „The Giro is a race that I really, really like. I lived in Italy for three years, so I have a lot of friends there and I really like the Italian fans. I know the roads, I really like the Giro, and I want to do a good race there.“
And the Colombian will start his season on home soil, as defending champion at the Tour Colombia.
„I’m really excited to do the Tour Colombia. It will be the first race with Froomey there so we want to do it well! It’s at home and I want to do a good race for the fans, for my family, and for Colombia. It’s incredible how the fans support us and it’s right at home. It will be good.“
Geraint Thomas revealed his shock at rounding off a fantastic 2018 by being named Sports Personality of the Year.
He finished ahead of Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and third-placed Harry Kane, who was top scorer for England at the 2018 World Cup and Thomas expressed both his delight and surprise at winning the prestigious award.
He said: “I’m over the moon. I’m genuinely shocked. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
„It was down to the public to vote and to have so many to do that for me is super nice. It feels crazy to be honest. The story of it probably added another dimension.
„It’s an unbelievable era for cycling. I feel so lucky to have benefitted from cycling and the boom we’ve had in recent years is brilliant for the sport“
In his acceptance speech Thomas said: „I feel really to have come into cycling at the age I am. I was just going down the local leisure centre going for a swim, then I end up riding a bike.
„I’d like to thank my wife, she deserves this just as much. I’m really lucky to have her and my family.
„As a bike rider, I was always focused on myself, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury] and Billy [Monger], then seeing kids on their bikes back home, you take great pride in winning this.
„It’s been an amazing year for British sport and long may it continue.“
After spending the last week with his new teammates at the team’s training camp in Mallorca, Ivan Ramiro Sosa is excited about his maiden season in the peloton with Team Sky.
Sosa, who completed the team’s roster for the 2019 season when he put pen to paper on a contract earlier this month, continues the team’s strong connection with South American riders, becoming the fifth Colombian rider to sign for Team Sky.
The 21 year old enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018, claiming an impressive overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos, in addition to stage race wins at the Adriatica Ionica Race and Sibiu Cycling Tour – and now he’s targeting more success with Team Sky, as he looks to continue his development at WorldTour level next season, joining an ever-growing group of talented young riders on the team’s roster.
Sosa said: “I am really happy to be here.
“I am here to keep improving as a rider and while it will be a learning process for me during my early days with the team, I believe I will fit into this group well and race to my full potential over the coming years.”
A close friend of Egan Bernal, Sosa is pleased to have a familiar face alongside him at Team Sky, commenting: “Having Egan here is a big boost for me – he is a good friend and someone I know very well.
“Having him and a few other South Americans in the team will be really beneficial for me.”
As well as Bernal, Sosa has got to know the rest of his new team-mates well in Mallorca over the last week or so and he’s been welcomed into the team with open arms.
“Everyone has been really welcoming to me,” he said.
“There is a nice mix of youth and experience within this team and they’ve all helped me settle in.
“Training has been really good and the DS’s and coaches have been great with me too.
“We’re all looking forward to the new season and the chance to build on the team’s successes of 2018.”
Team Sky race coach, Xabier Artetxe, believes Sosa’s arrival presents another exciting addition to the team’s roster, adding: „Ivan is a really strong climber. In the long climbs especially, he’s produced some really good performances, but there is so much more to come from him still.
“He will need time to settle in; to learn how we train; to learn how we race – but he has everything here to keep progressing as a rider. He has the potential to be one of the best climbers in the world.”
Artetxe believes Sosa’s relationship with Bernal will be a huge help to him as he gets used to life at Team Sky, commenting: “He is really close to Egan – they know each other really, really well – and that will help him. Egan is a great example for Sosa. He will help him settle into Team Sky and help him continue to make improvements as a young rider with huge potential.”
Sky has announced this morning that its ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky will end on 31 December 2019. So that means next year will be our last year racing as Team Sky.
This news will no doubt come a surprise to many people but, as you may know, there has been a lot of change at Sky recently. It is the start of a new chapter for the company and sometimes it is inevitable that change brings further change with it. That is what has happened here.
Over the past nine seasons, Sky has backed us all the way, enabling us to achieve some amazing results and inspire millions of people to love our sport. We’d like to thank Sky for all of their support, and in particular the opportunity to help Britain become a cycling nation.
First things first, nothing changes for next year. Sky are fully committed to the end of 2019 and together we have ambitious goals for the season. We all want to close the Team Sky story with the strongest possible finish. We are more motivated as a Team than we have ever been.
In terms of the future, we are open minded. If we can find a new long-term partner to take the Team forward into a new era, then we will do so. And we will be doing everything we can to make that happen over the coming weeks and months. Equally, any future partner would have to be the right partner – one who shares our ethos and buys in to our values.
This news has only just been announced; we can’t predict what will happen from 2020 and there are no guarantees. Whatever happens, we will make sure there is clarity one way or the other about the future of the Team before the Tour de France next July.
Finally, a big thank you to all of our fans. You are, and have always been, the people who are the most important to us and who matter the most. It has been our privilege to race for you. We are proud to have written our pages in the history books and created memories that will never fade.
And rest assured we are not done yet by any means. Right now, the Team is at training camp putting in the hard work to get ready for next season. We can’t wait to see you all out on the road in the New Year.