Team Sky to debut as Team Ineos at Tour de Romandie

Organisers confirm British team will start as Team Ineos in the Swiss stage race

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The organiser of the Tour de Romandie has confirmed that Team Sky will debut under new sponsor Ineos for the first time at the Swiss stage race.

The British team had been set to become Team Ineos for the Tour de Yorkshire, which starts on May 2 – but Team Ineos will now debut at the Tour de Romandie, which starts two days earlier on April 30.

They will however be wearing a temporary kit, with the real gear making a first appearance at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Sky announced it would end its sponsorship of the team last December after a decade-long presence in the sport. Team boss Dave Brailsford was then set on finding a new sponsor ahead of the 2019 Tour de France in July. He had talks with sponsors in Colombia which came to nought, before chemical company Ineos stepped in to save the team.

Team Ineos mock-up on Tour de Romandie start list

Outgoing sponsor Sky was due to stay on until the end of 2019, however agreed to an early takeover by Ineos on May 1 in time for the four-stage Tour de Yorkshire.

However with Romandie and Yorkshire crossing over the same week, the team will now make their first appearance in an Ineos jersey a day earlier.

Geraint Thomas eluded that it would be the case after posting on Instagram that the final stage of the Tour of the Basque Country would be his last in Team Sky colours.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

That’s a wrap for me in Sky colours. Thanks for everything the last 9.5years👌👍🙏 #ontothenextone

A post shared by Geraint Thomas (@geraintthomas86) on Apr 13, 2019 at 9:26am PDT

Thomas is set to ride the Tour de Romandie, which runs over five stages and a prologue from April 30 to May 5, ahead of his Tour de France title defence in July. Ben Swift is also likely to return to action at the race after crashing in training in February.

Chris Froome meanwhile, who will aim for a fifth Tour title alongside Thomas in July, will make his debut at the Tour de Yorkshire instead of riding in Switzerland.

Froome will make a last appearance under the Sky banner at the Tour of the Alps though (April 22 to 26), having added the race to his programme after a difficult start to the year.

He raced the Tour Colombia before pulling out of the UAE Tour team a few weeks later. Froome then appeared at the Volta a Catalunya where he quickly began riding in support of team-mate Egan Bernal after crashing on stage one.

Bernal is also set to potentially ride at the Tour of the Alps according to Colombian media, ahead of his maiden Grand Tour leadership role at the Giro d’Italia in May.