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Sir Dave Brailsford reportedly stepping aside from Ineos Grenadiers role to oversee team owner’s entire sports portfolio

Rod Ellingworth said to be taking over the reins as team boss moves upstairs

Sir Dave Brailsford, who has guided Ineos Grenadiers to 12 Grand Tour victories since it began racing as Team Sky in 2010, is reportedly moving on from the UCI WorldTeam to take charge of its owner and headline sponsor’s entire sports portfolio.

According to a report on the Italian website Tuttobiciweb, his position as team principal will be taken by director of racing Rod Ellingworth, who rejoined the outfit at the start of this season after spending the highly disrupted 2020 season heading up Bahrain-McLaren.

Ineos, the petrochemicals giant owned by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, bought the team’s management company Tour Racing Limited from former owners Sky and 21st Century Fox in 2019, with the deal effective from 1 May that year, the eve of the Tour de Yorkshire.

> Team Sky to become Team Ineos from 1 May

In sailing, the company backs Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK, which earlier this year missed out on the opportunity to challenge Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup when it lost to Italy’s Luna Rossa in the final of the Prada Cup elimination series.

Ineos is also a main sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and in July signed a six-year deal to sponsor New Zealand Rugby.

The company, which is keen to share knowledge and expertise across its sports portfolio, also staged the 2019 challenge which saw the Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge become the first person to run a Marathon distance in less than two hours, although the event in Vienna was not conducted under race conditions.

Ratcliffe, who is based in Monaco, personally owns the French Ligue 1 football club, OGC Nice.

Brailsford stepped down as performance director at British Cycling in 2014 having steered Team GB to dominance of the track cycling events at Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later to focus exclusively on Team Sky.

He has overseen seven Tour de France victories – four by Chris Froome and one each by Sir Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, and Froome also won two Vuelta a Espana titles for Team Sky and one at the Giro d’Italia, where Tao Geoghegan Hart and, most recently, Bernal, have also won the maglia rosa.

Ellingworth set up the British Cycling Academy in Tuscany and later masterminded Mark Cavendish’s successful bid to win the rainbow jersey in the road race at Copenhagen in 2011 before becoming performance manager at Team Sky two years later.

In July, Brailsford, who underwent an operation for prostate cancer in 2019 and later had surgery for a blocked artery, said in an interview with the Guardian’s Jeremy Whittle that any further health problems might force him to give up his role as team principal.

> Sir Dave Brailsford says further health issues would lead to him quitting Ineos Grenadiers

Cyclingnews.com reports that Ineos Grenadiers have described the Tuttobiciweb report as “speculation” – which of course falls short of being an outright denial.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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