We’ve made no bones about our disdain and objections to Ineos, the gigantic fracking and chemicals company’s intrusion into sailing, notably as the title sponsor of the UK AC Team. We imagine there are a whole lot of bike enthusiasts who aren’t too happy about this news then…
When British TV network Sky announced in December that it would end sponsorship of its eponymous pro cycling team, the team’s future instantly became the most important issue of the off-season. Sky is the most dominant team in stage racing, thanks largely to a sport-leading budget of over $43 million in 2017, more than double the average budget of teams in the WorldTour. Aside from its own destiny, the team’s demise or survival would influence cycling’s competitive balance, dramatically shaping how races themselves are won or lost. Those questions were answered today.
In a press release, Team Sky announced that Ineos, a major international chemicals company headquartered in London, will take over the ownership of the team on May 1. (Team Sky is unusual in pro cycling in that the entire operation is owned by the sponsor, instead of a separate holding company. Switching sponsorship means selling the team.) While this is great for the team, it’s decidedly more ambivalent for the health of the sport overall.
Read on, thanks to Outsideonline.