Rod Ellingworth resigns as Ineos Grenadiers deputy principal

One of the original members of Team Sky departs, as Ineos undergoes transition

Rod Ellingworth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rod Ellingworth has resigned as deputy team principal of Ineos Grenadiers. 

The 51-year-old, who was involved in the original set up of Team Sky back in 2009, has been de facto in charge of the Ineos cycling project since 2021, despite Sir Dave Brailsford having the title of team principal.

The squad were the team of the 2010s, winning seven Tours de France between 2012 and 2019, pushing Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to the top of the sport.

However, the team that was once dominant in Grand Tours has not won one since the Giro d'Italia with Bernal in 2021, and has underperformed in stage races this year, not winning a single one at WorldTour level.

Hours after the Daily Telegraph broke the story a spokesperson for the team confirmed Ellingworth will leave at the end of the year but added they would make "no further comment at this time".

After retiring from his racing career in 1997, Ellingworth coached the likes of Mark Cavendish and Thomas. He established the British Cycling Academy, based in Manchester and Tuscany, Italy, which bred some of the most successful names in British cycling.

Cavendish, Thomas, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh all went on to ride at the top tier after Ellingworth’s coaching.

He joined Team Sky as a coach in 2009 before becoming performance director for the outfit in 2013. In 2020, he joined what was then Bahrain-McLaren as team principal, but left after just one pandemic-affected season.

Ellingworth then returned to Ineos as deputy team principal, but has largely been running the squad as Brailsford has taken on larger roles with Ineos Sport; 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, among others.

The Telegraph report does not state a reason for his departure, but says that there have been tensions around the running of the team. As well as its sub-par season, top riders including Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, Dani Martínez, and Ben Tulett have all left for new teams next year.

There were rumours that Ineos were looking to sign Remco Evenepoel or Primož Roglič before and after the reports about Soudal Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma merging, but that never came to pass.

In August, Ellingworth told GCN that he was "just head down doing my job".

 “There are a lot of rumours going around. What I would say is don’t listen to the rumours,” Ellingworth said.

“I don’t know what the confusion is. I’m just head down doing my job. A lot of people are talking because we’re not announcing things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working and things aren’t happening. There’s a lot happening.”

On Brailsford, he said: "With Dave, nothing has changed. He’s been doing that role for a while now and he’s working hard across all areas of Ineos Sport, but part of that is the cycling and he has always remained involved.

“Our relationship certainly hasn’t changed recently. We still communicate all the time, so there’s been no real change in that respect.”

Ratfcliffe is thought to be about to take an ownership stake in Manchester United football club, with Brailsford possibly coming on board with this move.

The team are far from without talent at present, with multi-discipline star Tom Pidcock, the biggest time-trialling talent in the world Josh Tarling, and the young Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez all contracted for multiple years.

Ineos Grenadiers have been contacted for comment.

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