Founding member of Team Sky Rod Ellingworth will leave to join Bahrain-Merida

The world-renowned coach has helped develop Britain’s best talent

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Founding member of Team Sky Rod Ellingworth will be leaving the British outfit for Bahrain-Merida.

Ellingworth, who has been with Sky since their inception in 2010, has been instrumental in the success of many British top-tier riders.

After retiring from his racing career in 1997, Ellingworth coached the likes of Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.

In a statement released on Friday (April 19), Team Sky said: “Rod Ellingworth will be leaving Team Sky to join Bahrain-Merida from next season.

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“Ellingworth, who was a founder member of the team upon our formation in 2010, informed senior management of his decision earlier this season.

“He will remain with the team for the immediate future to ensure an amicable and smooth transition.

“Everyone at the team thanks Rod for his immense service and contribution during his time with us.

“The team will be making no further comment.”

Ellingworth competed as a professional between 1995 and 1997, before turning his attention to coaching.

The 46-year-old established the British Cycling Academy, based in Tuscany, Italy, which bred some of the most successful names in British cycling.

Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh all went on to ride at the top tier after Ellingworth’s coaching.

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He joined Team Sky as a coach and is currently performance director for the outfit.

Bahrain-Merida recently announced that British automotive company McLaren would become a 50 per cent partner in the Middle East-based cycling team.

Cavendish was another Brit rumoured to be in talks with Bahrain-Merida about a possible transfer, but the sprinter eventually extended his contract with Dimension Data instead.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.