An agreement between Team Sky and INEOS for the purchase of cycling's dominant force has been confirmed.

Team Sky to become Team INEOS as new deal confirmed

Team Sky will be known as Team INEOS from May after the chemicals firm bought the operation from the broadcasting giant.

Sky announced in December that it would be ending its involvement in the hugely successful cycling team this year, leaving principal Dave Brailsford looking for a new backer.

Reports on Monday suggested INEOS - owned by Jim Ratcliffe, valued as Britain's richest man - would take on the title sponsorship, and that was confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

"Today's announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely," said Brailsford. "It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future.

"In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike.

"It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team INEOS."

Ratcliffe added: "Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world.

"Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments.

"INEOS is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team."

Sky have won six of the past seven Tours de France, with Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas all leading them to glory.

"So excited that we as riders and staff will be able to continue on together for 2020 and beyond," Froome tweeted. "Looking forward to continued success as Team INEOS!

"Massive thanks to everyone involved in keeping this special group of people together." 

The launch of Team INEOS will take place at the Tour de Yorkshire, which begins in Doncaster on May 2.

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