Team Ineos haven't ruled out setting up women's squad

Sir Dave Brailsford has responded to calls for a new British team in the women's peloton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

>>> Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome share their thoughts as Ineos takes over Team Sky

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.

>>> Sir Dave Brailsford hails ‘momentous day’ for cycling as Team Ineos officially launches

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.”

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, world championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the middle east. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.