Team Ineos have officially launched their new kit (Picture: @CyclingImages/ Team Ineos)
Team Ineos was formed in 2010, as Team Sky.
The British squad entered the professional peloton with the aim of winning the Tour de France with a home rider within five years, something that they achieved when Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner in 2012.
This has been followed up with four more victories for Chris Froome in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 – the latter year in which he also won the Vuelta a España, which he then followed up with victory at the 2018 Giro d’Italia, with Team Sky becoming one of the most successful teams in world cycling.
However, the team has faced a fair amount of controversy. Firstly, when Wiggins’s 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné victory was put into question following reports of a mysterious package delivered to Team Sky at the race.
Froome’s blood contained twice the permissible limit of the asthma drug, Sabutamol, but after a protracted process, he was found not guilty of any anti-doping violation and was allowed to compete at the 2018 Tour de France.
The team became Team Ineos in 2019 after Sky decided to pull its sponsorship from the team.
Ineos, a British chemical company, took over sponsorship in May 2019 with the team making their debut in new red and black colours at the Tour de Yorkshire.
Team Ineos’ history
Team Ineos – then called Team Sky – was formed in 2010 with a 26-man squad including eight British riders alongside overseas riders such as Edvald Boasson Hagen, Simon Gerrans and Juan Antonio Flecha
Team Sky got off to a dream start in Grand Tours when Bradley Wiggins won the opening stage of the 2010 Giro d’Italia (Sunada)
However there was less success at the Tour de France, where Wiggins was unable to reproduce the form that had taken him to third place in the 2009 race, eventually finishing in 22nd place, nearly 40 minutes behind the winner.
However Wiggins’s 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné victory has since been partially overshadowed by revelations about a package delivered to Team Sky at the race. In December 2017, team manager Dave Brailsford told MPs that the package contained the decongestant Fluimucil, intended for Wiggins, although evidence to prove that this was indeed the contents of the infamous Jiffy bag have yet to be provided.
The opening stages of the 2011 Tour de France went well for Team Sky, with the team taking third place on stage two’s team time trial, to put Wiggins in a strong position in the overall classification.
Chris Froome in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, where he finished second overall
However on the crucial stage 15 to Alto de l’Angliru Wiggins was struggling again, and as the Team Sky leader faded, Froome followed Cobo, who went on to win the stage and take the leader’s jersey, with Froome moving to second overall and Wiggins third, which would remain their positions to the finish in Madrid.
The 2012 season saw the arrival of world champion Mark Cavendish at Team Sky, with lead-out man Bernard Eisel also making the switch to Sky from HTC-Highroad. They were also joined by climbing domestiques such as Richie Porte and Sergio Henao.
Looking comfortable over the next few stages, Wiggins was then put in a bit of trouble when team-mate Froome moved clear on stage 11’s summit finish to La Toussuire, before being called back to help his team leader. Despite the drama Wiggins’s lead was extended beyond two minutes by the end of the day, with Froome moving up to second.
The season started well for Team Sky. Porte won Paris-Nice in March, as the Australian produced some fantastic riding winning two of the last three stages –the queen stage, and the time trial.
Bradley Wiggins on stage seven at the 2013 Giro d’Italia
After the success of 2012, Wiggins was chosen as leader for the Giro in 2013, as Froome got the nod to lead the team at the Tour. It wasn’t a successful Giro campaign for Wiggins; he crashed on stages seven and eight, and a few days later, Wiggins’s horrible Giro came to an end as he abandoned due to a chest infection.
Team Sky started the 2014 season with some more reinforcements as well as departures. Both Rigoberto Uran and Mathew Hayman left the squad to join Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Orica-Greenedge respectively.
But the squad strengthened, with the arrivals of Philip Deignan from UnitedHealthcare, Mikel Nieve who joined on a two-year deal from Euskaltel Euskadi after the team folded at the end of the 2013 season. Sebastian Henao (cousin of Sergio) was the final arrival at the beginning of the season.
The season didn’t start particularly well for Team Sky, and it proved to be an omen for things to come. Thomas pulled out of Paris-Nice, and then Porte abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico and later missed the Giro.
Chris Froome gets treatment after a crash on stage four of the 2014 Tour de France
Froome started the 2014 Tour in the hope of retaining his 2013 crown. But a miserable opening set of stages coincided with Froome crashing twice on stage four, which resulted in him abandoning the race. Nieve was Team Sky’s highest placed rider in 18th position.
Froome went on to ride Vuelta a España after the disappointment of the Tour. Froome finished second overall, 1-10 behind Alberto Contador.
Thomas signed a new two-year deal at the start of the 2015 season, and with that Team Sky saw a new influx of riders. Leopold König, Nicolas Roche, Wout Poels, Andrew Fenn, and Elia Viviani all joined.
After those signings, Wiggins was the next name to commit to Sky, on a deal that would see him stay with the team up until the 2015 Paris-Roubaix. But Edvald Boasson Hagen was one of the big names that decided against renewing his deal.
Sky endured another disappointing Giro in 2015; Porte was their main hope, but he lost time in the first stage, and then was docked a further two minutes on stage 10 after receiving a wheel from fellow Australian Simon Clarke, with Clarke riding for Orica-Greenedge. With him down in 12th position Porte abandoned the race on the second rest day.
Froome was targeting his second Tour crown in 2015. The previous year he crashed out on stage four, but in preparation for the Tour the Briton won the Critérium du Dauphiné for a fourth time.
Chris Froome wins stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France (Sunada)
Porte also announced halfway through the Tour that he would be leaving for BMC Racing to pursue bigger targets.
With one of Team Sky’s most trusted domestiques leaving the squad, Sky had another recruitment drive in which Mikel Landa was the big name to join, moving over from Astana.
Further arrivals included Michal Golas, Gianni Moscon, Dutch sprinter Danny Van Poppel, Benat Intxausti. Another big name joined Team Sky in the shape of 2014 World Road Race Champion Michal Kwiatkowski.
Froome entered the 2016 Tour de France as the race favourite, but no one expected him to take yellow in the manner he did: with a daring downhill attack off the Col de Peyresourde on stage eight.
Then on stage 12 there was carnage on the slopes of Mont Ventoux as Froome crashed after a motorbike got held up by the crowd, with Froome then providing one of the most enduring moments in the history of the race as he decided to run up the mountain.
Chris Froome on the podium after winning the 2016 Tour de France (Watson)
Froome followed up his historic Tour with another good performance in the Vuelta a España, as he finished second, just like he did in 2014. This time he was one minute, 23 seconds behind winner Nairo Quintana.
After the success of 2016, Sky signed some talented young riders; Owain Doull and Jon Dibben joined from Team Wiggins, and Diego Rosa and Kenny Elissonde joined from Astana and FDJ respectively.
There were a few notable outgoings as Roche and König joined BMC Racing and Bora-Hansgrohe respectively.
Since 2016, Froome has won both the Tour and the Vuelta, likeable Welshman Thomas won the 2018 Tour and young talent Egan Bernal took the 2019 victory.