Amidst brewing rumors since the turn of the year, Team Ineos have confirmed Chris Froome is leaving at the end of the season and have decided not to renew his contract.
After 10 years with Team Ineos (formerly known as Team Sky) Froome, now 35 years old, after achieving so much said: "It has been a phenomenal decade with the Team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories.”
Sir Dave Brailsford said: "Chris’s current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it. We are making this announcement earlier than would usually be the case to put an end to recent speculation and allow the Team to focus on the season ahead.
"Chris has been with us from the start. He is a great champion and we have shared many memorable moments over the years but I do believe this is the right decision for the Team and for Chris. Given his achievements in the sport, Chris is understandably keen to have sole team leadership in the next chapter of his career - which is not something we are able to guarantee him at this point. A move away from Team INEOS can give him that certainty. At the same time, it will also give other members of our Team the leadership opportunities they too have earned and are rightly seeking. I am excited about the talent we have right across the Team at the current time and all our collective focus is on preparing for the season ahead. Like everyone across the sport we are all looking forward to the start of racing next month."
So, there you have it. This seems to be a decision to suit all. Chris Froome clearly believes he has more to give whether you agree or not. Dave Brailsford clearly doesn’t, stating sole team leadership is not something the Team can give him.<
So what next for this British Champion?
We now know Chris Froome will join Israel Start-Up Nation for next season as the sole team leader.<
Chris said ”I look forward to exciting new challenges as I move into the next phase of my career but in the meantime my focus is on winning a fifth Tour de France with Team INEOS."
So what happens for the rest of the season?
The Tour de France will start on 29th August, with the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana overlapping during October, the UCI has announced.
He will be riding for Team Ineos come the start of the Tour de France on August 29th.
It will be interesting to see how he rides during the Tour de France with the Columbian Rider, Egan Bernal the new favourite in Team Ineos overtaking both Froome and Geraint Thomas.
This news will remind a lot of cycling fans what Chris Froome has done for cycling and in particular Team Sky. Bradley Wiggins started the Team Sky train popularity boost by winning the Tour but Froome catapulted Team Sky to heights no one could have foreseen.
How do you think Chris Froome will get on with Israel Start-Up Nation?
We know he will take sole leadership within the team. Will the bike he is riding affect his performance. Disc Brake fans may not like this but Team Sky/Team Ineos does not ride bikes with disc brakes for a reason.
He will be riding a Factor bike with Disc Brakes in his new team.
When it comes to pro-cycling marginal gains really do matter.
Let’s see how he gets on. We can only speculate for now.
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