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Cycling news - Sky to end involvement with cycling at the end of 2019 season

Sky to end involvement with cycling at the end of 2019 season

12/12/2018 at 07:20Updated 12/12/2018 at 09:01

Sky has announced it will end all involvement with cycling at the end of the 2019 season.

The decision casts doubt on the future of a team which has spawned Tour de France wins for British riders Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas after the broadcaster withdrew its support after 10 years of backing.

The riders, who are on a training camp in Majorca, were reportedly told overnight with Team Principal Dave Brailsford said to be shocked by the decision when informed.

The relationship began in 2008 when Sky began a partnership with British Cycling to try and increase participation both on track and on the road. That relationship ended in 2016.

Team Sky started competing in 2010 and has seen 322 victories in the past eight years under Brailsford, including eight Grand Tour successes.

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.Getty Images

Froome has won four Tour titles at Sky, as well as the Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta A Espana, and was for a time the first man in over 30 years to hold all three Grand Tour leader's jerseys at once.

In a statement 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.”

Video - Brailsford: 'There will be a big party in Wales ... they're going to sing and get drunk'

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Brailsford insisted that the team would continue to compete as long as a new sponsor was found.

“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." He said in a statement. "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."
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