Dave Brailsford has been appointed as director of sports at Ineos, a role that will see the veteran team manager oversee the company’s operations across a range of sports, as well as cycling.
Ineos Grenadiers revealed the news on Friday afternoon, announcing that Brailsford will continue in his role as main team of the WorldTour cycling squad in addition to his new role.
Brailsford had been linked with the role earlier this year, with speculation that he could step aside from Ineos Grenadiers – formerly Team Sky – after 12 years at the helm. Rod Ellingworth joined the team last year and has taken on an expanded role as deputy but Brailsford will continue to call the shots.
Ineos the company is a multinational chemical, fuel and plastics conglomerate but has expanded into owning and sponsoring sports teams in recent years, from the cycling operation to ownership of the OGC Nice football team and Ineos Brittania sailing team, a one-third stake in the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, and a performance partnership with the New Zealand rugby team.
Brailsford’s new role will see him oversee the entire Ineos sports organization, working across teams to help develop cross-team collaboration and information-sharing as the company seeks to “develop a performance agenda across all sports”, according to a team press release.
“For me there is no more exciting place to be in global sport right now than at Ineos given the extraordinary range of talents across the different teams,” Brailsford said.
“I am very pleased to have this new opportunity to work together with the other team leaders to look at how we can take advantage of these collective talents and develop a wider performance framework in partnership. It goes without saying I am really looking forward to learning more from each of them and their teams and looking at how to put their ideas into wider practice across the Ineos sport family.
“This culture and approach are at the heart of what makes Ineos such a successful business – a federal structure with clear responsibilities but a desire to cross pollinate new thinking and ideas across the Group.”
Brailsford’s move to a new role had been reported by Italian website Tuttobiciweb back in September, with Ineos Grenadiers describing the report as “speculation”. He will not, as the report suggested, be giving up his role at Ineos Grenadiers, and will continue to work alongside racing director Rod Ellingworth at the team going forward.
“The aim now is to replicate this model across the sports at Ineos,” he said “Alongside this new role I will continue to lead Ineos Grenadiers with Rod Ellingworth as my deputy. We are already deep into the planning for 2022 and are committed to going all in for next season. “
Following the Tuttobiciweb report, Brailsford dismissed the idea that he would step away from the squad in an internal team message seen by Cyclingnews.
“I don’t make a habit of commenting on media speculation but contrary to reports in the Italian press overnight. I just wanted to let you all know that I have no intention of stepping away from the team,” he wrote.
The 57-year-old, who underwent surgery for a heart issue earlier this year, told the Guardian in July that he would step away from his role with the team if he were to suffer any further health issues, having also overcome prostate cancer in 2019.
“If I do have any further health issues, I won’t be able to continue. I’m pretty clear about that,” he said following the Tour de France.
“I’m trying to look after myself but I’m here to help other people, to lead and support other people. If the moment comes when you’re trying to support yourself more, then it’s time to get out.”