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.”

>>> Mark Cavendish: ‘Illness was mismanaged so I’ve done myself more damage’ 

“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.

>>> UCI confirms all WorldTour and Pro Continental teams for 2019

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.”

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1