‘We're now the hunter, not the hunted’ - New Ineos Grenadiers CEO commits to reclaiming top spot amongst WorldTour elite

John Allert outlines team’s targets and ambitions for 2024, including regaining Grand Tour dominance of old

Laurens De Plus
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers new CEO, John Allert, has outlined the team’s goals for 2024 which includes aiming to recapture the Grand Tour dominance of old which underlined their former identity as Team Sky.

Allert was promoted to chief executive officer in December last year and will take control of the team’s operations on a day to day basis moving forward. He will report directly to Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc after Brailsford previously moved into the role of Head of Sport, overseeing all of the projects within the wider Ineos Sport group 

The team’s new CEO explained that the Grenadiers have plenty of work to do in order to move back to the top of cycling’s pyramid of elite teams. Allert said that the Tour de France remains a major goal for the squad as he discussed the team’s ambitions moving forward into the new year.  

“For me, this is a very exciting period,” Allert told the press, including Cycling Weekly. “I think it’s fair to say that we’re the hunter, not the hunted and that puts a slightly different complexion of things. We’ve clearly transitioned from one leadership to a new leadership, and we’ve got an exciting rider group and we’ve made a good start to the season. I feel a lot of optimism within the team, and in the sport.”

During the off-season Rod Ellingworth resigned as deputy team principal and Allert was later appointed CEO. Dr Scott Drawer came on board as performance director and Steve Cummings became head of racing. 

Allert talked the media through the team’s new hierarchy and was clear that Brailsford will still be involved with the cycling project moving forward, despite recently stepping back from day to day involvement with the team

Brailsford will now be heavily involved at Manchester United after Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently added the football club to the wider Ineos Sport portfolio. 

Allert said: “Dave is the godfather of the team and he’s the founder of the team. It’s a privilege that he’s still accessible to the team. He clearly has responsibilities across several sports, and not just cycling.

“Although Dave has greater bandwidth than anyone I’ve ever worked with, his first and primary focus is on a variety of sports teams. Clearly, he has a passion and proven track record for cycling, so don’t ever be surprised to see him come on race but he won’t be at races to mark our homework. He’ll be coming on race to help the team, as he does all the teams."

Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock is part of an exciting crop of young talent on the Ineos roster

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ineos have let several big name riders move on during the off season including Tao Geoghegan Hart who signed for Lidl-Trek. Allert explained that he has huge faith in the “exciting” crop of talent that the team still has on board including time trial sensation Josh Tarling. 

"I think all of the riders who left our team, whether those offers were financially attractive or were opportunities that they felt they wanted or needed, we wish them well," Allert said.   

"Rider turnover happens every year and some of those riders were riders that brought the team great success and we thank them for that and hope they succeed wherever they go."

"I think everybody can see that at the moment there are some pretty outstanding GC riders. I believe that we have a number of outstanding GC riders too – both experienced, proven GC riders. We have two winners in the team. We also have a phenomenal next generation of riders," he added.  

"Our objectives are to get as close to the top of the podium in the Tour and any Grand Tour or in any race for that matter. Whether or not that's this year or next year remains to be seen. We know the competition is stiff.

"I think sometimes people mistakenly think that we've had a diffusion of focus. But that’s always been the DNA of the team. That continued from our previous owners into the Ineos ownership and the ambition is the same. 

"With that comes an identity that I think certainly to those inside the team is crystal clear. And that is why we're a GC team, first and foremost and want to be on the top step of the podium. That's it."

Filippo Ganna

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Allert backed the team’s new head of performance, Dr Drawer, to succeed and explained that he feels he will be instrumental in helping the team get back on level pegging with the likes of Visma-Lease a Bike and UAE Emirates across all of cycling’s Grand Tours. 

He said: "Our mission is clearly more than to catch up to those teams that have succeeded over the last couple of years, it's to find ways of overtaking them.

"They've found ways of not just echoing what we did but innovating themselves. That's how they've got themselves to the position they're in. That's part of the joy of elite sport, that each generation finds ways to out-perform and out-innovate the one that precedes it. 

"I think it's no coincidence that the person responsible for our sporting performance [Dr Scott Drawer] is a scientist. He's an innovator, he's a proven disrupter. He embraces technology, data and science. 

"I don't think that alone will provide us with the answer but certainly, we're going to leave no stone unturned in terms of trying to innovate our competition."

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