Team Sky will become Team Ineos at the Tour de Yorkshire, it has been confirmed.
The British WorldTour outfit will undergo a change of sponsor and name in May, eight months before Sky were due to pull out.
Rumours started circulating earlier this month that British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe could step in to buy the team from Sky.
The team has now confirmed that Sir Jim’s chemical company Ineos will become the main sponsor from May 1.
Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Today’s announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans and for the sport more widely.
“It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future.
“In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike. It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team Ineos.”
Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of the team to Ineos, which will become the sole owner of Team Sky’s holding company Tour Racing Limited.
Ineos will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders staff, and partners.
Chairman and chief executive of Ineos, Sir Jim said: “Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world. Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments.
“Ineos is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team.”
In December last year, Sky announced that it would be ending its sponsorship of the team after a decade of support.
The announcement came when Sky plc was bought out by American communications giant Comcast.
Company chairman James Murdoch, a driving force in Sky’s cycling sponsorship, departed shortly after.
Sky Group CEO Jeremy Darroch said: "We are pleased that the team’s future has been secured under new ownership. This brings to a close Sky’s decade-long involvement with cycling, which has created unprecedented success and inspired millions more people to cycle regularly.
"I’d like to thank all members of Team Sky, past and present, for their contribution to our journey together. We wish the team and Ineos all the best for the future and look forward to watching the next chapter in the story.”
Sky said the practicalities of the transfer are subject to further discussion with the UCI
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