Sky has announced it is withdrawing its backing for the Team Sky cycling team at the end of 2019.
The team was launched in 2010 by the same people who masterminded British Cycling’s successes on the track at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with an ambition to produce the first British winner of the Tour de France by 2015. It has since secured eight grand tour successes and six British winners of the Tour de France.
Broadcaster Sky, already a sponsor of British track cycling at that stage, stepped in to bankroll the team in 2010. The two partnerships helped the brand to become more community-facing and shed some of its corporate image and contributed to the huge growth in cycling in Britain.
“Team Sky will continue to race under a different name if a new backer is secured to provide funding from the beginning of 2020,” said a Team Sky statement.
After a spectacular beginning, the team has been subject to accusations of cheating more recently. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome had an anti-doping case brought against him which was subsequently dropped by the UCI, while 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins faced questions about his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).
Team principal David Brailsford said: “While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the team is open-minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself.
“We aren’t finished yet by any means. There is another exciting year of racing ahead of us and we will be doing everything we can to deliver more Team Sky success in 2019.”