Team Sky to officially become Team INEOS

Team Sky will become Team INEOS on May 1 Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Team Sky have officially become Team INEOS after Sky and 21st Century Fox agreed to a sale, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The team, which has won eight Grand Tours since 2012, will become Team INEOS from May 1.

INEOS is owned by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Radcliffe and the launch of the new team will take place at the Tour de Yorkshire which starts in Doncaster on May 2.

"Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world," he said in a statement. "Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments."

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

Broadcaster Sky announced last December that it would end its involvement with the team which has been a huge success since it was founded by former British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford in 2009, and raced for the first time a year later.

"Today's announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely," Brailsford said. "It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future.

"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. It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team INEOS.

"I would like to personally thank Jeremy Darroch, who over a decade ago had the vision to back us when others thought we were crazy. His support for the team through thick and thin has been remarkable and everyone at Team Sky thanks him for all he has done for our sport."

Current rider Chris Froome tweeted his delight at the news saying: "So excited that we as riders and staff will be able to continue on together for 2020 and beyond. Looking forward to continued success as Team INEOS!"

"We are pleased that the team's future has been secured under new ownership," said Sky Group CEO Jeremy Darroch. "This brings to a close Sky's decade-long involvement with cycling, which has created unprecedented success and inspired millions more people to cycle regularly.

"I'd like to thank all members of Team Sky, past and present, for their contribution to our journey together. We wish the team and INEOS all the best for the future and look forward to watching the next chapter in the story."