Fracking groups are planning to protest Ineos at the Tour of Britain by wearing devil masks designed in the likeness of the company’s billionaire owner Jim Ratcliffe.
Protestors will target stage eight between Altrincham and Manchester on Saturday September 14, the latest in a series of protests since the chemical engineering company took over sponsorship of the British squad from Sky in May.
A press release from demo organisers state this action is intended to highlight the “true face” of the Team Ineos sponsor. Ineos are a major UK fracking company, and Europe’s biggest producer of virgin plastics.
Their presence at the Tour of Britain are the latest in a series of protests at high-profile bike races in various countries. As the new-look British team were officially unveiled at the Tour de Yorkshire, protesters made their debut to raise their views of Britain’s multi-Grand Tour winning team’s new financial backers.
As Team Ineos delivered a sixth Tour de France win in seven years as Egan Bernal claimed a first yellow jersey for Colombia, protestors also arrived to wave them off from Brussels for the Grand Départ on July 1.
Organisers say the protest will be peaceful and respectful of cycling fans, with many involved fans of the sport themselves. However, they say they will also voice their “opposition to this transparent attempt by Ineos to ‘greenwash’ it’s environment-damaging and climate-threatening industries”.
Allan Challenger from Frack Free GM said in a statement: “To reduce our carbon emissions, fossil fuels need to be left in the ground. Due to its detrimental local health impacts, persistent triggering of seismic events and climate-busting methane emissions fracking is especially toxic and should be banned in the UK as it has been in other countries.”
“Ineos relies on climate hostile fracked gas to produce more cheap virgin plastic,” said Andy Gheorghiu, policy advisor and campaigner for Food & Water Europe.
“This company plays an active role in increasing the climate and plastic pollution crisis and it shouldn’t be allowed to greenwash it’s business model with the sponsorship of sports teams.”