Sky will stop sponsoring cycling at the end of 2019
Sky will leave cycling on December 31, 2019. The new owner of the British communication company has decided to stop spending over 40 million euros per year in a cycling team.
The decision will bring to conclusion British Sky Broadcasting’s ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky. However, if a new backer provides funding in 2020, the team’s structure will continue to race under a different name. Besides, 21st Century Fox, which also owns a stake in the team, confirmed that 2019 will be its last year in cycling.
This news was made in an announcement disclosed at 7 am GMT on Wednesday, while Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford and the riders were properly informed previously.
Team Sky was born 10 years ago with the ambition of winning the Tour de France with a British rider within five years. This goal was achieved just three years later when Bradley Wiggins won the general classification of the 2012 Tour de France. Moreover, Dave Brailsford’s team has won 8 Grand Tours, including 6 Tour de France honours in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, and a total of 322 all-time wins.
Some of the greatest stars of cycling, such as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas or Egan Bernal, need to look for their future in a market that tends to shrink, as some of Sky’s riders have an existing contract that goes beyond 2019.
Despite this, is this the end of an era? Team Sky's disappearance will set the conclusion of a lavish era: this structure changed cycling and the way that cycling is understood with a new, dominant way of racing which scared their adversaries ever seen. This caused a great opposition, even hate, because of their overwhelming style, almost superb or arrogant, on the road and controversies related to doping.
Some people (and teams) celebrate this news and seem happy to witness the final year of Team Sky’s dominance as they believe cycling will be a more interesting and funny sport to watch because more attacks, counterattacks and new strategies are going to be seen in the near, very near, future.