Team Ineos principal Sir Dave Brailsford hasn’t ruled out starting a women’s team now the squad has the backing of Britain’s richest man.
Since the inception of the squad as Team Sky in 2010, Brailsford has faced calls to start a women’s team, which would be possible on a fraction of the Team Ineos annual budget of £35m.
A number of men’s WorldTour teams now run women’s squads, including Trek-Segafredo, Sunweb, Movistar and CCC Team.
When asked if Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s backing might result in an expansion into the women’s peloton Brailsford said: “The reality of the situation is that we’ve been spending the last few months to get the kit and the bikes and the branding changed and its been a monumental task in itself.
“In the next few weeks and months I’m sure we’ll sit down and discuss our future direction and other opportunities.”
He was then asked if he’d be opposed to starting a women’s team and replied simply “no”.
Recent weeks have been a whirlwind behind the scenes at Team Ineos as sponsors and back-room staff have been frantically working to get everything ready for today’s launch, which had at one point been pencilled in for the Giro d’Italia.
The first jerseys were only completed in the last fortnight and so limited was the initial batch that riders had to share jerseys while getting their pictures taken for the re-launched website.
So it is perhaps unsurprising that Brailsford was light on specifics about his plans for the squad.
“This next chapter will be very different after the last one,” he added.
“Jim and I spoke about the way these guys run their business, it’s very exciting. The excellence that they have in their business, it’s something I would like to bring and share into our world. The fact that Ineos is so involved in other sports, it makes it a different proposition than just a cycling team on its own.”
He added: “We’ll be looking to maintain that but to grow as well that’s what this is all about, it not the opportunity to roll forward more of the same its an opportunity to do something bigger and better. The sport is moving forward…. we’ve got to move forward as well.”