Dave Brailsford steps back from Ineos Grenadiers team principal role

The 59-year-old, who led Sky and Ineos to seven Tours de France, is set to join Manchester United's board

Dave Brailsford
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Dave Brailsford has stepped back from being directly involved in Ineos Grenadiers, with the 59-year-old giving up his title of team principal.

Brailsford will still have some say in the running of the cycling team in his role as Ineos' director of sport, but has stepped back from the Grenadiers while he his set to take on more responsibility at Manchester United.

The Telegraph published the news on Saturday, but it does not come as a particular surprise, with Ineos Grenadiers restructuring their whole operation in the off-season. In December, they announced a new chief executive officer (CEO), performance director and head of racing.

The owner of Ineos, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, recently acquired 29% of Manchester United, one of the biggest football teams in the world, and Brailsford has joined him there. He is thought to be joining the board.

According to the Telegraph, Brailsford told Ineos riders and staff at their training camp in Mallorca, and is no longer listed on the Ineos Grenadiers website.

He was central to Team Sky - then Ineos - from the squad's formation in 2010, when he was team principal. In his time leading the outfit, he oversaw victories at seven Tours de France, two Vueltas a España, and three Giri d'Italia, through Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, and Tao Geoghegan Hart. His leadership was seen as central to British Cycling and then Team Sky/Ineos' rise to be the best in the world.

Brailsford's departure is just the latest shakeup at the British cycling team, with deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth resigning in November. In December, it was announced that John Allert, who was previously the team's managing director, will become CEO, responsible for the day-to-day running of the squad. He will be be assisted by Dr Scott Drawer, who joined Ineos as performance director, and Steve Cummings, who became director of racing.

The new structure reports to Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc at the Ineos Sport group. The umbrella organisation includes Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investments in New Zealand's rugby union team, Mercedes F1, OGC Nice, and the Ineos Britannia sailing team, as well as Manchester United.

Brailsford's tenure was successful but not without controversy, with his "marginal gains" approach subject to much scrutiny. In 2018, a parliamentary select committee said that Team Sky crossed "an ethical line” with their employment of therapeutic use exemptions.

Richard Freeman, the team's former doctor, was struck off the British medical register for having a banned testosterone gel delivered to the National Cycling Centre in 2011. Freeman later received a four-year doping ban for his role in the incident. Brailsford always denied involvement.

Neither Ineos or Brailsford have made a statement on the move, but it is not a surprise, with the fresh organisation in place.

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