'Mortifying, inevitable, exciting': Cycling Weekly readers react to Chris Foome leaving Team Ineos

After a decade of success, Chris Froome is heading for Israel Start-Up Nation

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

The cycling world has been focused on the news that Chris Froome will be leaving Team Ineos.

Froome and team principal Sir Dave Brailsford have dominated Grand Tour racing over the last 10 years, but the partnership is now coming to an end as Froome looks for guarantees.

As Team Ineos look to Egan Bernal for the future, Froome is looking for a secure spot as Grand Tour leader at Israel Start-Up Nation.

Cycling journalists and experts have shared their responses to the news, but how have the fans reacted?

We’ve asked Cycling Weekly readers to find gauge their reaction to the major announcement.

Stephanie Saczawa, who runs a Chris Froome fan account on Twitter, said: “To be honest, I felt a little shocked.  He was one of the team’s original members and had really put the team on the map with all of his successes.  I really thought he’d stay with them until he hung up his wheels, then joined the staff to help mentor the next generation as either a sports director or coach.”

She added: “Now that I’ve learned a bit more about the team, Israel Start-Up Nation would be a great fit for Chris.  It amazes me that they are truly committed to helping him in his aspirations by building a strong supporting cast around him.  He would bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that not only would motivate and inspire the younger riders in the team, but would also inspire the team as a whole to elevate themselves to the next level.”

Froome joined Team Ineos, formerly Team Sky, as one of the original cast of riders in 2010 and quickly became a key figure in the team. He has since won seven Grand Tours, including four Tours de France, to editions of the Vuelta a España and the 2018 Giro d’Italia.

Wander Almeida, a 48-year-old business owner from Brazil, said: “I’m a little sad but excited about the battles on the road in the future. Pro cycling is a constant battle and Froome is the toughest cyclist.

“I believe that no team would hire Froome if not to hire a strong team to support him as undisputed leader.”

Dan Aluvi, 28 from Croydon, said: “If you are Froome and you’ve won everything under the sun, why race at all if you’re not racing for the win.

“If Ineos can no longer guarantee a leadership role, he’s got to go somewhere else.”

Caroline Mann added: “I say 'vive la difference'. It’s good to shake things up a bit.

“I think Israel Start-Up Nation are very ambitious and Ineos may regret their decision to let Froome go.”

Oscar and Jemima Lane, aged 10 and seven, have also shared their thoughts.

Jemima, whose favourite rider is Lizzie Deignan said: “I think Team Ineos will miss him and might not want to be racing against him in the future because he is so strong.”

Oscar said: “It will be good for [Israel Start-Up Nation] as they have a real champion to help them improve, but I think the team will struggle to support him to win more big races.”

The other big question for fans, is whether Froome can win another Tour de France to put him on the legendary fifth yellow jersey.

Stephanie Saczawa said: “Of course [ Froome can win again]. One thing I’ve learned about Chris over the years is that he never gives up – he’s been through a lot of ups and downs and he has had to fight for everything he’s done to get to this level.

“His place in history is already assured, but if he were to win another Tour or two it would be a dream ending to a fantastic career.”

Kenneth Lamden, a retired doctor from Lancashire, said: “If, against the odds, he can win another Tour de France then he will become a true legend.

“He’s surprised us before, so nothing is beyond possibility.”

>>> Chris Froome signing ‘extremely exciting and huge for the team’ says Freddy Ovett 

Not everyone is supportive of Froome’s choice of team however, as Duncan MacGregor said he is “mortified” that Froome would join an Israeli-based team, because of the Israeli government’s record of discrimination against Palestinians.

You can read more about the team and the accusations of 'sport-washing' here. 

MacGregor said: “Chris Froome has plummeted, in my opinion, to an unforgivable low.”

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