Ineos Grenadiers confirm departure of deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth

<span>Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Rod Ellingworth, the coach behind the career development of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, and also a pivotal figure in the era of British domination of the Tour de France, has left the Ineos Grenadiers team.

In a statement released on Friday evening, the British team, owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, confirmed Ellingworth’s departure. “The Ineos Grenadiers can confirm that deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth, will be leaving the team at the end of the year. No further comment will be made at this stage.”

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As Team Sky and then Ineos Grenadiers, the team exerted a tight control on men’s professional cycling for nearly a decade, winning the Tour de France seven times between 2012 and 2019. They also won the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and countless other major European races.

Earlier reports suggested that Ellingworth had, in fact, resigned, although Ineos Grenadiers declined to comment. But the 51-year-old’s management style has come under scrutiny in 2023, as the team again failed to challenge for victory in the Tour de France.

Although Thomas came close to winning the 2023 Giro d’Italia, he was usurped on the penultimate stage by Primoz Roglic of the Jumbo-Visma team, after a lacklustre time trial performance.

Spain’s Carlos Rodríguez, fifth overall, was the team’s best placed rider in July’s Tour de France, while in the season’s final Grand Tour, the Ineos Grenadiers failed to place a rider in the top 30. Prior to the start of the Vuelta, Ellingworth had said that “a podium finish, at least,” would be the team’s objective.

The team has also experienced an exodus of talent in recent months, while failing to secure proven winners such as Remco Evenepoel, the reigning world time trial champion, and Giro winner, Roglic, who spurned Ineos Grenadiers for a move to the Bora-Hansgrohe team. Among others who have recently left the team is Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the Giro in 2020, who has signed for Lidl-Trek.

Ellingworth had been with the British team since it was founded in 2009 and had a longstanding working relationship with David Brailsford, British Cycling performance director and subsequently Team Sky and Ineos Grenadiers team principal.

After a brief hiatus working with the Bahrain-McLaren team, Ellingworth returned to take overall responsibility for Ineos Grenadiers in 2021, as Brailsford moved on to work across Ratcliffe’s interests in other sports, expected to soon also include Manchester United.