Sky to end 10-year cycling partnership with Team Sky in 2019
Sky has announced that 2019 will be the final year of its involvement in cycling after more than a decade of success. A move which could see the troubled team cease to exist after next season.
Sky has announced that 2019 will be the final year of its involvement in cycling, drawing to a close an association spanning more than a decade of unprecedented success.
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) December 12, 2018
The decision was brought to Sir Dave Brailsford, the team principal, last week, and he was said to be in shock following the news
“While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the Team is open minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself,” Sir Dave Brailsford said.
21st Century Fox, which owns a minority stake in Team Sky, has also confirmed that 2019 will be the last year of its involvement in cycling. While Sky and Fox will no longer be involved in cycling after next year, they and Team Sky’s management will give careful consideration to approaches from third parties with an interest in working with one of the world’s most successful sports teams.
Riders, including four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome were told overnight in Mallorca where Team Sky are located for a winter training camp.
The team will compete as Team Sky for the last time throughout the 2019 road racing season. They will be aiming to add one more win to their total of 322 all-time wins including eight Grand Tours, 52 other stage races, and 25-day races.
Sky entered the cycling world in 2008 when its joined forces with British Cycling in a mission to increase participation at all levels and support elite success on the track and road. And by 2016, their success shone through as nearly two million people had been inspired to cycle regularly, not to mention they had achieved unprecedented medal success at three Olympic Games.
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. We thank you for joining with us on this journey and look forward to enjoying our last season of racing together.”
Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal, added: “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.
“While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the Team is open-minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself. For now, I would like to thank all Team Sky riders and staff, past and present – and above all the fans who have supported us on this adventure.
“We aren’t finished yet by any means. There is another exciting year of racing ahead of us and we will be doing everything we can to deliver more Team Sky success in 2019.”