Sky to stop sponsoring cycling team after 2019

The future of Tour de France winners Team Sky is in doubt after the broadcaster announced it was withdrawing its backing

2nd Tour de France Shanghai Criterium 2018 (Getty)

Sky has announced that it will no longer be sponsoring Tour de France winners Team Sky after 2019, following more than a decade of involvement in cycling.

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The future of the team that led Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas to victory in the Tour de France is in doubt following the announcement, although a new sponsor could be found.

Team Sky will be known after a different name if a new backer is secured to provide funding in 2020.

In response to the announcement, British Cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford explained, “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.

“For now, I would like to thank all Team Sky riders and staff, past and present – and above all the fans who have supported us on this adventure.”

During their times as sponsors, Team Sky earned an impressive 322 victories, including eight Grand Tours.

One of their standout achievements as a cycling team was winning the Tour De France with a British cyclist for the first time, with Sir Bradley Wiggins securing this historic victory in 2012.

Since then, both Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have taken the top prize.

Team Sky Tour De France (Getty)

The news comes as Sky is set to be taken over by US media giant Comcast.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group Chief Executive, said, “We came into cycling with the aim of using elite success to inspire greater participation at all levels. After more than a decade of involvement, I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved with Team Sky and our long-standing partners at British Cycling. But the end of 2019 is the right time for us to move on as we open a new chapter in Sky’s story and turn our focus to different initiatives including our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.

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“I’d like to pay a special tribute to Dave Brailsford and the immensely talented team of riders and staff he has assembled at Team Sky. What they have achieved together would have been beyond the dreams of many just a few years ago. We thank you for joining with us on this journey and look forward to enjoying our last season of racing together.”

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