Chris Froome to leave Team INEOS

By Sports Desk July 09, 2020

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome will leave Team INEOS at the end of this season, following a decade-long association.

Froome is out of contract in December and will part ways with the David Brailsford-helmed outfit – formerly known as Team Sky – because he can no longer be guaranteed sole team leadership.

The 35-year-old triumphed at Le Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, although INEOS' domination of road cycling's premier event continued with Geraint Thomas taking glory in 2018 and Egan Bernal prevailing in Froome's injury absence last year.

A scramble for the services of one of the sport's all-time greats is now set to ensue, although Cycling News reports Froome has agreed a multi-year contract with Israel Start-Up Nation.

"It has been a phenomenal decade with the team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories," said Froome, who also won the Vuelta a Espana in 2011 and 2017 before completing the set of cycling's Grand Tours at the 2018 Giro d'Italia.

"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."

Froome superseded 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins as the team's dominant force when he topped the podium on the Champs-Elysees 12 months later.

However, Brailsford indicated the likes of Thomas and Bernal now have their esteemed team-mate on the other side of that equation.

"Chris' current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it," he said.

"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."

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