Team Sky will stay on the road next year under a new guise as Team INEOS from May 1 after securing backing from Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe in a move which should ensure they retain the biggest budget in cycling.
The British-registered team has been one of the most successful in the sport since launching in 2010, winning 322 races in total, including eight Grand Tours and six of the last seven Tours de France.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of Team Sky’s biggest victories.
Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France, 2012
At the launch in 2010 Team Sky set a goal of delivering a British winner of the Tour de France within five years. They did not need to wait that long. Sir Bradley Wiggins was the man to make history, and his closest challenger on the general classification was team-mate Chris Froome, who finished three minutes and 21 seconds further back. Vincenzo Nibali was more than six minutes behind in third place, and Team Sky’s domination of the race was highlighted by a total of six stage wins, three of them for sprinter Mark Cavendish.
Chris Froome, Tour de France, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
Froome won something of an internal team battle to lead Sky at the 2013 Tour as Wiggins unsuccessfully targeted the Giro d’Italia instead, and he soon vindicated Sir Dave Brailsford’s faith in him. Froome won four Tours in five years, a run broken only by a crash which ended his 2014 Tour in the first week. When he won in 2017, he became one of only five men to have won the race more than three times, leaving him one shy of the all-time record of five wins jointly held by Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain.
Chris Froome, Vuelta a Espana, 2017
Froome followed up his 2017 Tour success by becoming the first British rider to win the Vuelta just two months later. Froome had three times finished second in the Spanish race but arrived at the 2017 edition as the clear favourite and duly delivered, becoming the third man to do the Tour-Vuelta double in the same year.
Chris Froome, Giro d’Italia, 2018
Not content with that, Froome then became the first British rider to win the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and the first rider in over 30 years to hold all three Grand Tour winners’ titles. Froome had crashed in the opening time trial in Jerusalem and looked well off the pace in the early stages, but a stunning solo victory on stage 19 catapulted him to the top of the general classification as he became the seventh rider to complete a career Grand Tour grand slam. Froome’s participation in the race was something of a surprise as he had been expected to focus on the Tour and a potential fifth crown, while he also raced in Italy under the cloud of a UCI investigation into a test result showing high levels of the anti-asthma drug salbutamol returned during La Vuelta. The rider was cleared just a week before that year’s Tour de France started in July.
Geraint Thomas, Tour de France, 2018
Geraint Thomas had prepared himself to lead Team Sky at the Tour as Froome’s participation remained in doubt until the final minute during the UCI’s investigation. Once Froome arrived in France, Team Sky began to speak of him as their race leader, but it was the popular Thomas who kept himself out of trouble during a tricky first week, and Thomas who showed he had the form as he delivered back-to-back mountain stage wins in the Alps, becoming the first Briton to win a stage finishing on Alpe d’Huez. By the final week, Froome was all-in behind his team-mate, taking third place for himself.