Anti-fracking group to protest at Tour de Yorkshire over Team Ineos 'greenwashing'

Anti-fracking group to protest at Tour de Yorkshire over Team Ineos 'greenwashing'

Joe Robinson 21 Mar 2019 Ineos holds the rights to frack for shale gas across multiple sites in Yorkshire The introduction of Team Ineos into the professional peloton at the Tour de Yorkshire is set to be greeted with protests by anti-fracking campaigners. Ineos announced its purchase of Tour Racing Limited , the holding company of Team Sky, on Tuesday with the team to appear in its new guise for the first time at Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire on May 2nd. The multi-billion pound chemical company, headed by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, currently has a license to frack for shale gas across multiple sites in the county of Yorkshire. Ratcliffe is an ardent supporter of fracking and has vocally criticised government efforst to regulate the method of drilling for oil. Ineos is yet to start fracking operations due to planning disputes and protests. Anti-fracking group ...

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Confirmed: Ineos completes purchase of Team Sky

Confirmed: Ineos completes purchase of Team Sky

Joe Robinson 19 Mar 2019 Team will change name before Tour de Yorkshire in May Team Sky have confirmed their sale to major British chemical company Ineos with the team set to become known as Team Ineos as of 1st May. It was no secret that Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe was in advanced talks over the purchase of the WorldTour team, although it comes as some surprise that Sky will leave its post as main sponsor before the end of the season. In a statement released by the team today, it said 'Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of Team Sky to Ineos. Ineos will become the sole owners of Tour Racing Limited (the team’s holding company) from 1 May this year and will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners,' 'The launch of Team ...

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Ineos expected to be confirmed as new Team Sky backer in coming days

Geraint Thomas and Team Sky at Valenciana

Ineos is expected to be confirmed as the new sponsor of Team Sky within the next 48 hours, according to a report in the Daily Mail on Monday. The petrochemical company is owned by Britain's richest man, Jim Ratcliffe. Last week, Cyclingnews reported that the team's future had been assured for 2020 and that Ineos was manager Dave Brailsford's preferred option. The Briton had also held talks in Colombia recently regarding possible backing from state-controlled oil and gas company Ecopetrol. According to the Guardian , the budget of Team Ineos will be close to £40 million and thus exceed that of Team Sky, meaning that the squad will likely be in a position to retain a roster that includes Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, four-time Tour winner Chris Froome and the emerging Egan Bernal. Sky announced its decision to end its backing of the team in December of last ...

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Geraint Thomas abandons Tirreno-Adriatico

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) riding stage 2 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

Geraint Thomas abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico after 133km of stage 4 to Fossombrone, with Team Sky explaining that the Welshman had not been feeling 100 per cent due to stomach issues. The Tour de France winner had said he was looking forward to the weekend of hilly racing in Italy when he commented on Team Sky potentially being sponsored by Ineos in 2020 . He seemed relaxed at the start in Foligno, but the stage started fast on the ride to Fossombrone thanks to a tailwind, with an average speed of 45.700km/h for the first two hours of racing. Thomas eased up on a short steep climb in the Le Marche hills, stopped at the side of the road and then climbed into the front seat of a Team Sky race car. Team Sky confirmed that he had been struggling with stomach issues. Team Sky finished fifth in the opening team time ...

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Geraint Thomas reacts to news of Team Sky becoming Team Ineos

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) racing the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico

Geraint Thomas carefully avoided confirming that Team Sky will become Team Ineos in 2020 but seemed confident and pleased that the team will continue under new backing, securing his future as a team leader of the British WorldTour team. Cyclingnews was told by multiple sources on Thursday that the multinational chemical company owned by Britain's richest person, Jim Ratcliffe, will take over from Team Sky for 2020, perhaps even increasing the team's reported current budget of £34 million. Thomas signed a new contract with Team Sky after winning the Tour de France in 2018 and seemed happy that his future is now secured. "If it's true, then yeah, but I don't know, I'm just concentrating on racing," Thomas said after stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico , carefully avoiding any confirmation of the news. "You'd hope to think that we'd find something. We are in the best position to; we are one ...

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Team Sky expected to be saved by Britain's richest person

Team Sky expected to be saved by Britain's richest person

Joe Robinson 15 Mar 2019 Sir Jim Ratcliffe's chemical company Ineos expected to take over Team Sky sponsorship Britain's richest person and keen cyclist Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks set to save Team Sky through his chemical company Ineos, which is expected to take control of the British WorldTour team in 2020. The Daily Mail reported earlier this month that Ratcliffe was in talks with Sir Dave Brailsford about the possibilty of a potential takeover – one of several buyers reported as being interested in purchasing the team. This was seemingly backed up by Team Sky sport director Matteo Tossato who told Spanish newspaper Marca at the UAE Tour that a new sponsor had been secured and would be announced before the Giro d'Italia. The Italian also confirmed that the replacement for Team Sky would be from Europe. This after Brailsford denied that meetings with Colombian president Ivan Duque were in ...

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Geraint Thomas upbeat despite damaging time loss at Tirreno TTT

Geraint Thomas speaks to reporters at the Tirreno-Adriatico press conference

Geraint Thomas remained upbeat following the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday, despite admitting that Team Sky 's loss of 47 seconds to team time trial winners Mitchelton-Scott and their leader Adam Yates puts them "quite far behind". "It's not ideal, certainly," Thomas told reporters at the finish, "but you never know with bike racing. Mitchelton-Scott did a real good, strong ride, and unfortunately we are quite far behind, but there are still six day of racing to go." Second-placed team Jumbo-Visma – who finished just seven seconds off the Australian WorldTour team's winning time – is home to another race favourite in Primoz Roglic, who won a stage and the overall classification at the recent UAE Tour and will prove to be a real danger man over the coming week, according to Thomas. "We saw how well he was going there in the UAE, and he's going for the ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Dumoulin stays in overall contention after TTT

Tom Dumoulin on the front for Team Sunweb at Tirreno-Adriatico

Tom Dumoulin admitted before Tirreno-Adriatico that losing 25 seconds or more in the opening team time trial would probably end his chance of overall victory in the week-long stage race. While not happy with Team Sunweb 's third place, 22 seconds behind Mitchelton-Scott and 15 down on Jumbo-Visma, the Dutchman was pleased to still be in contention and ready to race aggressively in the number of steep uphill finishes later in the race. "Third, it's good, not perfect. It's a good start and we're, I won't say happy with it, but satisfied," Dumoulin said as he warmed down on the rollers, seeing Team Sunweb's glass half full rather than half empty. As team leader and former world time trial champion, Dumoulin took on extra responsibility during Team Sunweb's ride. He did longer turns on the front, leading and inspiring his teammates. Chad Haga brought Team Sunweb home, with Dumoulin second, ...

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Riders left in shock after pedestrian takes out Bora-Hansgrohe in Tirreno TTT

Oscar Gatto and Rafal Majka ride to the finish of the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial after crashi

Many of the riders at Tirreno-Adriatico were shocked to see the Bora-Hansgrohe crash at speed after a pedestrian walked into the road ahead of them during the opening team time trial on the Lido di Camaiore seafront. Some teams were out on the road but many saw the incident live on television as they prepared for their own ride. They were somewhat shocked and angry that it happened, knowing it could have happened to them. "I did see it, it was quite scary to watch," Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) said after his ride. "There was a policeman there as well. It shouldn't happen. Hopefully, the guys are all right and they guy they hit, too, because he looked like he was knocked out." Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) suggested the local police officer on the side of the road could have done more to stop the pedestrian ...

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Poels shares leadership with Thomas for Team Sky at Tirreno

Wout Poels (Team Sky)

Team Sky 's Wout Poels starts Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday in a joint leadership role with Geraint Thomas , and is relishing racing there again for the first time since 2016. The previous year, at the 2015 Tirreno, Poels won a stage, which was his first win for Sky having joined them that season, and the Dutchman hopes that this year's 'punchier' route – which only takes in central Italy's muri , rather than any high mountains – will suit him as the winner of the 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "They say it's more for the Classics guys, but I won a Classic," Poels said of this year's Tirreno route and his victory at Liège. "I really like Tirreno. I've done it quite a lot of times, and at Vaconsoleil I won the white jersey as best young rider [in 2012]. "I've been in the top 10 three times" – eighth in 2012, ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico stars gather on eve of race – Gallery

Julian Alaphilippe pokes fun at Geraint Thomas with the Tirreno-Adriatico trident

Tirreno-Adriatico rolls off the starting blocks on Wednesday with a 21.5km team time trial in Lido di Camaiore, and some of the top riders gathered on Tuesday to talk about their own ambitions in the seven-day WorldTour race that finishes on March 19 with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. The favourites for the overall, including Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and recent Strade Bianche winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), gathered on Tuesday to speak with the media and give the race a proper set-up. Defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is currently battling the crosswinds at Paris-Nice, leaving the race open for a brand-new winner or a potential third victory for Nibali. The race lacks any true mountains this year, eschewing summit finishes in favour of a number of short, steep Classics-like climbs that will measure gradients in ...

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The Race of the Two Cs

Will we see Greg stand atop the podium once more?

Ordinarily I’d start this piece with a wistful opening paragraph, maybe calling to mind editions of Tirreno-Adriatico from years past. This case is an exception, however, as obviously my first priority needs to be explaining that travesty of a headline. See, this is not only the race of the two seas, the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic, but this year also the two ‘c’s, which will be explained presently. C numero uno: Classics racing. Okay, don’t get me wrong. As year after year has gone by I have come to hate the formulaic coastside TTT and the equally predictable ITT when the race hits the Adriatic. I’d say that even the residents of the always-willing San Benedetto del Tronto have lost their enthusiasm by this point. The race has turned up there without fail since 1967. The Tirreno permacourse involves these two, two flat stages, an uphill sprint, a hilly stage ...

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Geraint Thomas enjoys 'sadistic' suffering as he seeks Tour de France form

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) riding stage 2 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

Geraint Thomas ( Team Sky ) has no regrets about celebrating his Tour de France victory long and hard into winter, finding the recent suffering he has needed to get back to form as 'sadistic' but enjoyable. Thomas only raced the Deutschland Tour and the Tour of Britain after winning Tour de France and was determined to savour every minute of the celebrations despite warnings from Team Sky to watch his weight and keep riding. Thomas was visibly heavier than his racing weight at the Saitama and Shanghai criteriums in November and only got back into regular training in early December. He has since done blocks of training in Los Angeles, raced the Vuelta a Valenciana in Spain and spent time at altitude on Mount Teide. He has lost much of the weight he gained during the winter but is not yet competitive in races. “It was definitely worth it, ...

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Dave Brailsford rode the Strade Bianche sportive this weekend and is almost as quick as the pros

Joe Robinson 11 Mar 2019 The Team Sky manager posted his ride to Strava and proved he is not slouch despite being 55-years-old Dave Brailsford may want to consider offering himself a pro contract for 2019 considering his Strava file after riding this weekend's Strade Bianche Gran Fondo . The Team Sky boss was in town watching the likes of Diego Rosa and Geraint Thomas race on Saturday and decided to give the Tuscan white roads ago, himself, on Sunday. Brailsford, who turns 56 later this month, completed the 139km sportive with 31km of gravel roads in just over four hours, giving him an astonishing average speed of 33.7kmh. The speed would have been faster had it also not been for a puncture in the last 9km of riding. His ability to hold this average speed is made impressive, firstly, because of the numerous steep sections of gravel road en-route ...

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The Art of Racing Over 7 Days

What does it mean to be a one-week specialist? From 2014 to 2017, Alberto Contador was the undaunted master of week-long stage races. Having finished on the podium of WT one-week stage races (see the races I used for this analysis below) a whopping 10 times, including 3 wins. It would be easy for you to rush to interpret that this means that Grand Tour excellence translates to week-long results, until I tell you that over that time frame, Alberto Contador finished on a Grand Tour podium just once. In the twilight of his career, Contador was a shell of himself when it came to the big 3 week races, but was simply unparalleled when it came to the week-longs. [Full disclosure: Contador was also a week-long asskicker when he was a great GT rider as well… but we’ll get to that later.] You often hear the adage: “Rider X ...

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The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche

A pair of first-time champions emerged at Strade Bianche Saturday, though neither could be considered a surprise winner. After 184km of racing, including 63km across white gravel roads, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) got the better of Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to take the victory in the historic Piazza del Campo in Siena. Former world cyclocross … The post The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Geraint Thomas plays down Tour de France rivalry with Chris Froome

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome

Geraint Thomas kicked off a second block of early-season racing at Strade Bianche on Saturday, convinced he is back on track as he builds towards the defence of his Tour de France title. Thomas and Chris Froome will again be joint leaders for the Tour de France, with the Welshman keen to land a rare second consecutive victory, with Froome chasing a record-equalling fifth win. It seems the road will eventually decide who becomes Team Sky’s protected rider but Thomas played down any tension about team leadership. "We'll just treat it like we did last year - just be open and honest with each other," Thomas said as he prepared to roll out at Strade Bianche. "As long as one of wins, that's the goal. If we end up racing against each other and someone else won, when one of us could have won, that would be a disaster." Thomas ...

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Paris-Nice 2019: Who are the favourites and who will win?

Joe Robinson 8 Mar 2019 From Colombian talent to Northern grit, here are the riders to watch at Paris-Nice Paris-Nice has had a stroke of luck this year. With rival Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico deciding to ignore the Apennine mountain range in favour of a mixture of flat and rolling stages, any climber looking to get some early-season miles in their legs has opted to race in France. As a result, the field for the 2019 edition of the 'Race to the Sun' is one of the strongest for years, with plenty of punchy, one-week experts and high-ticket Grand Tour performers all fancying their chances of taking victory on the French Rivera in just over a week's time. It's no secret that the two most explosive days of racing should come on Stages 6 and 7. Stage 6 is the race's only true mountain-top finish as the peloton heads to ...

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Strade Bianche: Tuscan delicacy

Is it possible that Strade Bianche is the most anticipated race of all on the calendar save for one or two that the Flemish hype machine have managed to elevate to almost God-like status? I think it probably is. Last year we engaged in a debate over whether it is in fact the sixth monument already and the opposition to such an outrageous claim was surprisingly mellow. It may not be but it’s probably not far off in many people’s minds. That said, it’s still pretty early days and Strade is really just the opening salvo in perhaps the most intense period of the year, Paris-Nice, Tirreno, Sanremo all follow like a string of pearls and the coming weeks promise to be a blur of high caliber World Tour racing. The race also suffers from rubbing up against Paris-Nice this weekend. Like always some riders you’d desperately want to see ...

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Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview

Race to the sun, my ass.

There’s always a discussion around this time about which is the better race-- Paris - Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico-- as the peloton gets split between the two races. The consensus view is usually that TA is the better race-- it gets the better riders and has the better route. Here’s the thing, though. Anyone that still believes that has not been watching PN during the last three years. Each of the last three years has been a barn burner of a race, easily in contention for best week long stage race of the year as well as race day of the year and probably only losing out on those honors due to its placement on the calendar-- before the spring classics and all of the grand tours cloud our collective memories. 2016 saw Geraint Thomas take the GC victory over Alberto Contador by a mere 4 seconds and saw a vintage ...

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