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Ineos has confirmed that four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome will leave the team at the end of 2020.
In a press release sent out Thursday morning European time, the British-registered team confirmed that Froome’s contract had not been renewed.
“Chris’s current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it,” said team principal Dave Brailsford. “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.”
Shortly after Ineos confirmed Froome’s departure, Israel Start-Up Nation confirmed his impending arrival, with the team careful to clarify that he “would sign a long-term contract on August 1,” the date that the transfer window technically begins in earnest.
“This is an historic moment for ISN, Israel, Israeli sports, our many fans all around the world and, of course, for me personally – a moment of enormous pride,” said the team’s co-owner, Sylvan Adams.
“Chris is the best rider of his generation and will lead our Tour de France and Grand Tour squad. 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 will be only the second WorldTour team Froome has ever raced for. The 35-year-old joined Sky (which has since become Ineos) in 2010, the squad’s debut season and his first at the highest level.
“Chris has been with us from the start,” Brailsford said. “He is a great champion and we have shared many memorable moments over the years but I do believe this is the right decision for the team and for Chris.
“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.”
This year’s Ineos line-up contains four Grand Tour winners: Froome, 2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas, and 2019 Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz. Bernal, Thomas and Carapaz are all signed with Ineos for next season.
Since then he’s won four Tours de France, two Vueltas a España, and a Giro d’Italia, among a bevy of other races. In June 2019 crashed heavily during a reconnaissance ride at the Criterium du Dauphine, breaking his femur, elbow and several ribs. After a long and intensive period of recovery and rehabilitation, he returned to competition at the ill-fated UAE Tour in February 2020. He hasn’t raced since.
“It has been a phenomenal decade with the team — we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories,” Froome said. “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.”
Froome, Bernal and Thomas are all expected to be part of Ineos’ line-up for this year’s rescheduled Tour de France, which is due to begin on August 29.