From heaven to earth: the Sky Cycling team will lose a sponsor and the name

In a few weeks will open a new Cycling season. It will be the last for the British team Sky team — the current winner of “Tour de France” Geraint Thomas and four-time winner of the French race, Chris froome. Broadcaster Sky News said on Wednesday, December 12, at the end of the season in 2019 plans to discontinue sponsorship of the team. A similar decision was announced and the holding of 21st Century Fox, which was a minority sponsor of Team Sky .

In a press release on the website of the team saysthat it will continue its existence under another name, “if a new sponsor willing to invest in the team of the funds since the beginning of the season 2020.” “We are proud of the role we played in that over the last 10 years to turn Britain into a country of Cycling,” said December 12, Sky Manager Dave Brailsford. The administration team recognized that finding a new sponsor — not an easy task: the current annual budget of the Sky is estimated to be worth about 40 million euros. How successful will go looking for it, you will judge in the summer of 2019 — the team plans to report in July.

In a similar situation a few years ago were rivals Sky from Belgium: team Quick-Step Floors had to break contracts with several major specialists in order to reduce the size of the budget and as a result find a new sponsor. Sky runs the risk of repeating this path. In addition, if a new source of funding until the beginning of the “Tour de France-2019”, the probability is that the leading athletes of the Sky will begin to accept and seriously consider the proposals of other teams. Just the British team of around thirty riders. Sky has signed long-term contracts with young athletes: the contract with the Colombian Egan Bernal designed to 2023, and with Russian Paul sivakovym — up to 2020. Also the team is world champion 2014 and winner of the race Milan-San Remo, the pole Michal Kwiatkowski won in 2016 in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Dutch, vaut Pools.

The newspaper Le Monde suggeststhat the decision by Sky News to stop the funding associated with the change in the composition of shareholders of the media — not so long ago part of the package purchased by the American Corporation Comcast. Perhaps because of this, the British had to adjust the budget. In the Corporation no explanation for its decision have not yet given.

Sky News has started to invest in Cycling in 2008: first, as a subsidiary of the investor of the British Cycling Federation, and then the status of the key sponsor’s own team.

Cyclists of Sky during its existence the team managed if not to monopolize the top ranks of the leaderboards, then certainly hard to impose struggle rivals. They often acted in the yellow Jersey of the leader on the “Tour de France”, they are also six times in the last seven years, took home the title of winners of the French Cycling race and one of the team leaders Chris froome also won the Spanish Vuelta 2017 and Giro d’italia in 2018.

Another possible reason of the termination of funding can be linked to reputational risks. The team are increasingly exposed to massive criticism. Sometimes uncontested dominance of the Sky riders on the bike trails of the Grand rounds could not cause issues. The team suspected of doping: first, in the case of triumphant “Tour de France 2012” Bradley Higgins, and then with Chris Froome, in which samples taken during the Vuelta in 2017, found elevated bronchodilator drug salbutamol. Many members of the Cycling community encouraged froome to stop competing as long as the World anti-doping Agency completes an investigation. However, during the trial, the racer won the Italian Giro. And five days before the start of “Tour de France to 2018”, the Agency decided to close the “deal froome”. Cyclist took part in the competition, although at almost every stage the audience booed an athlete.
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