On Wednesday, the El Espectador website reported that team manager Dave Brailsford met with the Colombian President Ivan Duque and Coldeportes [sports ministry] director Ernesto Lucena to discuss the possibility of turning Team Sky into the first-ever Colombian WorldTour team. The website also reported that the meeting was facilitated by former Team Sky rider Rigoberto Uran.
“It is the dream and the hope that we have,” Coldeportes director Ernesto Lucena told El Espectador.
“The project could cost around $30 million per year, which with the union of three or four multinational companies, we believe could be viable. The market analysis that Sky did shows the remuneration that the brands investing would get,” Lucena added.
Team Sky have a long history of signing Colombian riders and currently have Sebastian Henao, Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa. Bernal is seen as a future Grand Tour winner and recently signed a five-year contract with Team Sky. He could emerge as the leader of a Colombia-funded WorldTour team or be joined by other big-name Colombian riders for 2020.
Ecopetrol already has close links to the Coldeportes sports ministry, recently backing a strategy by President Duque to promote sport in Colombia. It is listed on the US stock market and is 80 per cent government controlled with 20 per cent of shares privately owned. Net income was reported at 2.2 billion US dollars in 2017, with the Ecopetrol price rising in recent months after a change in investor sentiment.
Colombia is on the cusp of cycling greatness
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