Rod Ellingworth, deputy team principal of Ineos Grenadiers, has reportedly resigned from his position, marking a significant change for the team that has been undergoing transitions for several seasons. As revealed by The Daily Telegraph and later confirmed by the team, Ellingworth’s departure ends his long-standing association with the squad, which began with Team Sky’s formation in 2009.
Ellingworth’s reasons for leaving remain undisclosed, although there have been suggestions of internal tensions. He was responsible for day-to-day operations but did not have the final say in transfers or strategy. Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford has been more involved with Ineos Sport, sparking speculation about his continued role in cycling, especially with rumours of a potential new position at Manchester United.
In a statement, Ineos Grenadiers acknowledged Ellingworth’s impending departure, without elaborating further. Ellingworth’s exit, not yet officially communicated to the riders, signifies the end of an era. He was instrumental in setting up the British Cycling Academy programme in 2004 and played a key role in the development of riders like Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, and Ed Clancy. His contributions were crucial in Team Sky’s dominance in road cycling, including six Tour de France victories between 2012 and 2018.
Ellingworth briefly left Ineos in 2019 to lead Bahrain-McLaren but returned in 2021 after McLaren’s exit from cycling. Ineos Grenadiers have faced challenges recently, with Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates dominating grand tour racing, leading to a shift in Ineos’ race approach.
Looking ahead, Ineos Grenadiers boasts a talented roster, including Tom Pidcock and rising stars like Josh Tarling and Carlos Rodríguez. The team’s ambition to establish a full women’s team, hinted at with the signing of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, remains uncertain with Ellingworth’s departure.
In related news, Roger Hammond, Head of Racing, has left Ineos Grenadiers, and Matteo Tosatto is reportedly moving to Tudor Pro Cycling. These changes, along with Ellingworth’s resignation and possible shifts involving Brailsford, suggest significant restructuring within the team. Brailsford’s potential move to Manchester United further fuels speculation about the team’s future direction and leadership.