>>> Chris Froome signs with Israel Start-Up NationThe British Grand Tour star and quadruple winner of the Tour de France will leave Ineos after 11 years and join Israel Start-Up Nation next season.
Ineos team manager Sir Dave Brailsford has announced that the team has made the decision not to renew Froome’s contract as he wishes to remain the only leader on a team, a guarantee that keeping British WorldTour cannot offer.
Brailsford said: “Chris’ current contract expires in December and we have made the decision not to renew him. We are making this announcement sooner than would normally be the case to put an end to recent speculation and allow the team to focus on the coming season. “
The announcement comes after weeks of rumors that Froome was planning to change teams, with Israel Start-Up Nation still the favorite to sign the seven-time Grand Tour winner.
Froome is aiming for a fifth record Tour de France win, but was struck by a huge setback when he suffered a terrible leg fracture in an accident at the Critérium du Dauphiné last year.
During her recovery, Egan Bernal proved to be the rising star within the Ineos team by winning the 2019 Tour de France at just 22 years old.
The Ineos team currently has three Tour de France winners at Froome, Bernal and Geraint Thomas, winner 2018, with a team eager to bet on Bernal for its future.
But Froome wants single team leadership, according to Brailsford, in pursuit of his fifth Tour victory.
Brailsford added, “Chris has been with us from the start. He’s a great champion and we’ve shared many memorable moments over the years, but I think it’s the right decision for the team and for Chris. Given his accomplishments in the sport, Chris is naturally keen to have unique team leadership in the next chapter of his career – which is not something we can guarantee him at this point. ”
He added: “A distance from the Ineos team can give him this certainty. At the same time, it will also give other members of our team the leadership opportunities they too have earned and are rightly looking for. I am excited about the talent we have in the whole team right now and our whole collective goal is to prepare for the season ahead. Like everyone in the sport, we all look forward to the start of the race next month. “
Froome has been part of Team Ineos, formerly Team Sky, since their creation in 2010 and has dominated Grand Tour races in recent years.
After helping Sir Bradley Wiggins become the first British Tour de France winner in 2012, Froome won his first yellow jersey the following year.
He won consecutive Tour titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as the Vuelta a España 2017, and then won the Giro d’Italia 2018 in unforgettable ways.
Last summer, Froome was crowned winner of the 2011 Vuelta after the first winner, Juan José Cobo, was stripped for doping, bringing the Grand Tour de Froome total to seven.
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As part of the contract announcement, Froome said, “It has been a phenomenal decade with the team, we have accomplished so much together and I will always cherish the memories. I can’t wait to take on exciting new challenges as I enter the next phase of my career, but in the meantime, my goal is to win a fifth Tour de France with Team Ineos. “