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Sky and British Cycling to conclude lauded partnership

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky will end its eight-year sponsorship of the British Cycling national governing body in 2016.

Sky’s backing of professional cycling teams Team Sky and Wiggins, along with the talent development initiative Sky Academy are unaffected by the decision.

British Cycling has enjoyed an era of unprecedented success since it partnered with Sky ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Cyclists from the home nation scooped eight golds, two silvers and two bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Olympic medallists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome secured Tour de France victory with Team Sky in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Growth of the sport at grassroots and recreational level in the UK during this period has also been impressive, with British Cycling membership up from 21,000 in January 2008 to 111,000 in June 2015.

According to the governing body, cycling participation is up by 1.7 million people from 2008, with 1.2 million having taken part in the Sky Rides, Sky Ride Locals and Breeze mass participation events since 2009.

British Cycling has said that Sky will assist with its search for a new main partner.

"Sky gave British Cycling the platform from which to communicate the best of the sport and, through British Cycling, Sky has delivered lasting and positive change,” British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said. “The job is far from finished and British Cycling has a strong culture of setting and hitting ambitious targets so we relish the challenge as we set our sights on what we want to achieve beyond Rio 2016.

"To achieve these ambitions we need to increase investment into our sport and have therefore developed a clear commercial approach to support our 2017-2025 strategy. We look forward to engaging with a wide range of partners who want to join us on this exciting journey.”