Former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador said it was “no surprise” to him when he learned that Sky would end its sponsorship of Team Sky after the 2019 season, given the length of time the British team has been in cycling and the scale of its achievements.
Viewed as one of the best stage racers of his generation before he retired in 2017, and now a regular TV commentator on racing for Eurosport, Contador was one of Team Sky‘s most tenacious and unpredictable rivals over the years in the Grand Tours. Contador, among others, provided the team with plenty of challenges at the Vuelta a España, the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
He also masterminded the breakaway at the 2016 Vuelta a España on the stage to Formigal – a move that sank Froome’s bid to win the Spanish Grand Tour that year and enabled Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to retain his overall lead all the way to Madrid.
Rather than the sponsor quitting being a shock announcement, Contador said, it was only to be expected, given that Team Sky had achieved so much in cycling. He also argued that with more than a year until the team’s main backer quits, there was still a lengthy margin for the team to find new financial support.
“It’s not like they announced it in August and told the riders to start looking for a new squad for the next season,” Contador pointed out.
“It’s no surprise, given Sky have been in the peloton since 2010, that they are quitting,” Contador told Cyclingnews on Wednesday morning. “Most title sponsors come in, become a familiar part of the peloton and then, after five years or so, they’re gone and try another sport. I wish all the sponsors lasted nine or 10 years [like Sky].
Team Sky’s domination, finding sponsorship
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