On the 12th December 2018, Sky’s parent company 21st Century Fox, announced that they would be ending their sponsorship of Team Sky at the end of the 2019-cycling season.
Sky has sponsored the team since it was formed in 2010. It has been one of the most consistently successful cycling teams in the professional sport.
As well as winning a raft of races, it has won the Tour de France six times, with Bradley Wiggins (1), Chris Froome (4) and in 2018 Geraint Thomas (1).
Sky, the television company, has undergone a number of changes in the last couple of years. In Dec 2017 the Disney Corporation bought a large portion of 21st Century Fox, which itself owned 39% of Sky.
They, in turn were bought by the US media company Comcast.
Although it is expected that a new major sponsor will be found for the 2020 season, whoever they are, they are going to need deep pockets.
Estimates for the Team Sky’s budget in the 2019 season, is in the region of £35m – of which Sky contributes the bulk.
After nine years of racing, Team Sky have notched up 322 wins, including 8 Grand Tours, 52 other stage races and 25 one-day races.
It is difficult to see, with all the turmoil that a new sponsor brings, how Team Sky will continue to be such a major force on the professional cycling scene.
While the majority of cycling fans support Team Sky, they have not been without their detractors, especially in the French Press, and TdeF fans.
However, the story has a long way to go, and they are not a spent force.
2019, may well be their best season yet. We wait with anticipation to see all their results.