LONDON – Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe rode to the rescue of Team Sky when the chemicals billionaire was confirmed as the new owner of the powerhouse cycle team on Tuesday.
A statement from the team said current owners Sky and 21st Century Fox had agreed a sale to INEOS, the company owned by Ratcliffe, who will become the sole owners from May 1.
Broadcaster Sky announced last December that it was pulling the plug on its reported £30 million backing of the team that has won eight Grand Tours since it was founded by former British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford in 2010.
The news that keen cyclist Ratcliffe has stepped in means Team Sky, whose stellar cast of riders includes four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome and current champion Geraint Thomas, will continue challenging for the sport’s big prizes.
Team INEOS’ first outing will be at the Tour de Yorkshire, which starts in Doncaster on May 2.