Team Sky meeting with Colombian government over possible future sponsorship, according to reports

The team may be exploring the possibility of becoming the first Colombian WorldTour team

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Team Sky are meeting with the Colombian government to discuss the possibility of a future sponsorship deal, according to reports.

The British WorldTour team are on the search for new backing as their parent company Comcast is due to pull out at the end of 2019.

Team Sky are reportedly meeting Colombian president Ivan Duque and the head of the sport ministry Ernesto Lucena, to discuss the possibility of shifting the team from British to Colombian backing.

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According to newspaper El Espectador, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford is in the country for the meeting while some of the team’s biggest names compete in the Tour Colombia stage race.

Lucena told the newspaper that the dream is for a top tier Colombian racing team.

But the biggest barrier is covering Team Sky’s budget, the largest in the professional peloton, and particularly the salaries of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.

The project would cost around $30million (£23million), which could be covered by three or four multinational sponsors, according to Lucena.

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A Colombian-backed Team Sky would maintain the same roster of riders while taking on more South American talent.

The team has a history of picking up Colombian pros, including Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First), Sebastián Henao, and most recently Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa.

Last month, reports emerged suggesting that Team Sky’s new parent company Comcast could continue to part sponsor the team beyond 2019.

The company reportedly offered Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford enough cash to fund 70 per cent of the budget for the 2020 and 2021 season, giving him the opportunity to find the remainder from another sponsor.

Rumours also suggested that a merger with Pro Continental team Israel Cycling Academy could be on the cards, as Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams hopes to take his team to the Tour de France by 2020.

Another recent report suggested Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkov had made an offer to Team Sky, after he left cycling behind in 2016.

But Tinkov called the suggestion “bulls**t.”

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