Sky announce that cycling sponsorship will end in 2019, leaving Team Sky without a backer

The team announced that their long-time sponsor will be pulling out next year

Tao Geoghegan Hart with his Team Sky team-mates at the 2018 Vuelta a España (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Team Sky have announced that long-term sponsors Sky will bring its cycling sponsorship to an end next year.

The British WorldTour outfit announced on Wednesday morning that 2019 will be the final year racing under their current name.

Team Sky said that the team will continue to race under a new name from the start of 2020 if a new backer can be found.

Sky Group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “We came into cycling with the aim of using the elite success to inspire greater participation at all levels.

“After more than a decade of involvement, I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved with Team Sky and our long-standing partners at British Cycling.

“But the end of 2019 is the right time for us to move on as we open a new chapter in Sky’s story and turn our focus to different initiatives including our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.”

Darroch added: “I’d like to pay special tribute to Dave Brailsford and the immensely talented team of riders and staff he assembled at Team Sky.

“What they have achieved together would have been beyond the dreams of many just a few years ago.”

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“We thank you for joining with us on this journey and look forward to enjoying our last season of racing together.”

Media and telecommunications company Sky has owned and sponsored the team since its inception in 2010.

The team gave Britain its first Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, in 2012, who was followed by Chris Froome and then Geraint Thomas in 2018.

After nine years of racing, the team has notched up 322 wins, including eight Grand Tours, 52 other stage races and 25 one-day races.

Sky’s involvement with cycling came into doubt earlier this year when company was bought by American communication giant Comcast.

The company’s chairman James Murdoch, a driving force in Sky’s cycling sponsorship, departed shortly after.

Team Sky insiders said it was business as usual after the takeover, and highlighted CEO Darroch’s support for the team.

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Sir Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky principal, said: “The vision for Team Sky began with the ambition to build a clear, winning team around a core of British riders and staff.

“The team’s success has been the result of the talent, dedication and hard work of a remarkable group of people who have constantly challenged themselves to scale new heights of performance.

“None of this would have been possible without Sky.

“We are proud of the part we have played in Britain’s transformation into a cycling nation over the last decade.

“While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the team is open minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself.

“For now I would like to thank all Team Sky riders and staff, past and present – and above all, the fans who have supported us on this adventure.

“We aren’t finished yet by any means. There is another exciting year of racing ahead of us and we will be doing everything we can to deliver more Team Sky success in 2019.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for 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.