Billionaire Ratcliffe rides to rescue of Team Sky

The good times will keep rolling for Team Sky with a new deep pocketed owner revealed

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of Ineos, is set to complete the takeover of cycling group Team Sky today, invested £110 million in sailing outfit Ineos Team UK previous year, and is now said to be looking at a takeover of the west London club.

Jim Ratcliffe, who is the chairman of chemicals giant Ineos, is reported by the Sunday Times rich list as being worth 21 billion dollars (18.5 million euros).

That said, for the riders, Ineos' support means that a very strong group of riders and coaches and support staff will continue as a unified team, rather than facing a future when they could have potentially been split up.

Team INEOS' first outing will be at the Tour de Yorkshire, which starts in Doncaster on May 2.

Dave Brailsford, principal at Team Sky who is widely seen as the mastermind behind British cycling's sustained period of global dominance, said the announcement "ends the uncertainty around the team".

It has since secured eight successes across the sport's three "Grand Tour" events, including six British winners of the Tour de France.

"Ineos is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team".

"So excited that we as riders and staff will be able..."

Highly-successful road cycling outfit Team Sky is to become Team Ineos in May. The rider was cleared just a week before that year's Tour de France started in July.

Jim Ratcliffe
Billionaire Ratcliffe rides to rescue of Team Sky

The UCI's Lappatient also voiced caution about the impact that a huge team budget can have on competition.

In 2017 he bought FC Lausanne-Sport, who play in Switzerland's top football league, and previous year he pumped £110m into Olympic sailing legend Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK, with the aim of contesting the America's Cup in New Zealand in 2021.

The team's reputation has been tarnished in recent years though after becoming embroiled in a series of controversies.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, was also forced to deny cheating after receiving a mystery package at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

"There are a lot of big names in that team who would potentially have had to look for new sponsors and there's limited places now with the amount of teams that have folded", Wiggins said on his Eurosport show.

Media reports this week said Ratcliffe was mulling a potential takeover of Premier League football club Chelsea, owned by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich.

"In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike".

Reacting on Twitter, Thomas added: "Super happy the team can continue and stay together".


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