Team Ineos change their name from the Tour de France 2020 to promote their sponsor’s new 4×4.
The British WorldTour team has put in an application to the UCI to request a change of name to the Ineos Grenadiers and switch team kits as they look to promote the Ineos Grenadier, which was launched earlier this month.
Team Ineos has now confirmed that the name change will take effect from the start of the Tour on August 29.
Ineos, a multinational chemical company, moved into the automotive industry this year by releasing the Grenadier, which is inspired by the Land Rover Defender.
To promote the release of the Welsh-built vehicle, Team Ineos are expected to change their name to the Ineos Grenadiers from the Tour de France and change their kit from red to blue.
Teams have been known to change their name and kit during Grand Tours to help keep the sponsors happy – in 2018 Lotto-Soudal changed their name to Lotto Fix All during the Giro d’Italia to promote an adhesive in Italy, changing the colour of their kit to match the products branding.
Ineos took over as the main sponsor of Team Sky mid-way through the 2019 seaosn, as British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe stepped in to replace British broadcaster Sky.
The Grenadier, which was officially unveiled this month, is a 4×4 vehicle built by Ineos after Ratcliffe was inspired to build a replacement of his own Land Rover Defender.
Ratcliffe reportedly tried to buy the designs of the old model Defender from Jaguar Land Rover when they ceased production in 2016, but after the car-builder declined Ratcliffe decided to build his own version.
The Grenadier, which comes with a BMW engine and is expected to cost around £40,000, will be available from 2021.
Ineos, founded by Ratcliffe in 1998, works across a number of industries, but most significantly fuels and lubricants, packaging and food, and also construction.
The team have been at the centre of one of the biggest pro cycling news stories of 2020, as four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome will be leaving the squad after a decade.
Froome will be heading to Israel Start-Up Nation from 2021, as he looks for a guaranteed spot as a Grand Tour leader.
With the 35-year-old making his comeback from injury, questions have been raised over whether Team Ineos will take Froome to the 2020 Tour de France.
Ineos have two other Tour de France winners in their roster – Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal – and management seem set on banking their future on Colombian star Bernal.