Earlier this afternoon it was announced that petrochemical giant Ineos, the UKs largest company will officially take over as lead sponsor of the multiple Tour de France winning Sky Team.
Sky said in December that it was withdrawing its sponsorship this year, at the end of the cycling season. But now, as announced in this afternoons press release, Ineos will formally take over from the 2nd of May, at the Tour de Yorkshire. This means the team will race as Team Ineos for the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España this year.
The team that has won 6 out of the last 7 editions of the Tour de France will also be retaining Chris Froome until 2020, Geraint Thomas until 2021 and Egan Bernal until 2023, so expect more yellow jerseys!
Ineos is owned by the billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and is already at the centre of some controversy. Ratcliffe was a prominent Brexiteer, but let’s not get into that…. His company is also one of Europe’s largest plastic producers which goes against Team Sky’s Ocean Rescue awareness campaign. Remember the orcas and dolphins of the jerseys last year, those guys are unlikely to make the cut this year…. Then there is Sir Jim’s fracking obsession across the Midlands and the North of England… Ineos is lobbying for rules to be relaxed so that they can make larger earthquakes whilst they frack. Uh oh!!
Sir Dave Brailsford said “It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team Ineos” and “the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future”
So what do you think about it? Should Froomy and G be associating with these apparent planet wreckers, or should we let them get on with it?