Chris Froome‘s contract with Team Ineos will not be renewed after this season, and he will join Israel Start-Up Nation for the rest of his cycling career.
“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,” Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said in a press release. “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.”
An hour later, Israel Start-Up Nation announced Froome will sign with its team on Aug. 1 to start next season.
“Chris is the best rider of his generation and will lead our Tour de France and Grand Tour squad,” co-owner Sylvan Adams said in a release. “We hope to make history together as Chris pursues further Tour de France and Grand Tour victories, achievements that would make a serious case for Chris to be considered the greatest cyclist of all time.”
Israel Start-Up Nation, whose current roster includes Grand Tour veteran Dan Martin, made its Grand Tour debut at the 2018 Giro d’Italia. It was announced in January to make its Tour de France debut this year.
Froome, 35, is coming back from major injuries in a June 2019 crash, trying to win his first Tour de France since 2017. Younger Ineos riders Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal won the last two Tours de France.
The team must sort out its leadership for this year’s Tour, which begins Aug. 29, but will now be without the greatest Grand Tour cyclist of the previous decade come 2021.
Froome first joined the team — then Team Sky — in 2010. In addition to his four Tour crowns, he won a Giro d’Italia and two Vuelta a Espana titles.
“It has been a phenomenal decade with the Team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories,” Froome said in the Ineos release. “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.”
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk