Chris Froome to lead Team Sky in final race before name change

‘To win the Tour of the Alps would be a way to say a big thank you to Sky’

(Image credit: Action Plus via Getty Images)

Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at their final race before changing name to Team Ineos.

Froome has added the Tour of the Alps to his schedule after a turbulent start to 2019, saying winning the race would be a 'thank you' to Sky.

The British WorldTour outfit will ride under the Team Sky banner for the final time at the five-stage race before the switch to Team Ineos later this month.

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Froome said: “To win the Tour of the Alps would be a way to say a big thank you to Sky.

“I really enjoyed the race in 2018 and it was a big boost for me heading into the Giro d’Italia.

“It’s exactly the type of racing I need at this point in my year.

"The Tour of the Alps is a tough, punchy race which will be a good test of where I’m at.”

Broadcaster Sky has called time on its pro cycling sponsorship after a decade in the sport, with chemical company Ineos taking over Team Sky.

The name change was planned for the Tour de Yorkshire in May, but Team Ineos will now make its debut at the Tour de Romandie on April 30.

Italian and Austrian stage race Tour of the Alps, which runs from Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26, will now be the final time the Team Sky colours appear in the peloton.

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Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said: “The stages are hard and it will be great for Chris at this time in the season.

“Chris used the race last year to push himself and work hard for the Giro.

“He liked how the race went, the quality of the race, and now he knows it will be good for his buildup to the Tour de France.”

Froome was a late addition to the Alps start list as he works towards a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title.

The 33-year-old added the race to his schedule having raced only 13 days so far this season.

Team Sky will field a strong team in support of Froome, made up of Kenny Elissonde, David De La Cruz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, Salvatore Puccio and Leonardo Basso.

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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.