Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome could be on the lookout for a new team as his time with Team Ineos, formerly known as Team Sky, nears an end.
The 35-year-old will see his contract with his current employer’s end in the coming summer months, raising speculation of which jersey Froome will be wearing in the near future.
Froome, who has won Olympic medals for Team GB, added to the speculation of a possible departure earlier this calendar year as he expressed his desire to achieve more success.
“I am extremely confident I can return to Tour-winning form. Which team that will be with, beyond 2020, I don’t know yet.”
After failing to win the last two Tour de France’s, Froome’s role as the team leader has been put under doubt, despite missing out on 2019’s Tour due to a crash which threatened to end his career.
Getting used to not being the star man in the team's set up could be hard for Froome to come to terms with, and with fellow teammates, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal crossing the finishing line in the much-admired yellow jersey the last two Tours, Froome may look to become the main man elsewhere.
Nevertheless Froome insisted that the crash and recent periods with little personal success have not deterred him from wanting to compete.
“I have no intention of retiring any time soon,” said Froome.
“If anything, the crash has given me a renewed focus and drive. I have worked harder than I ever have to get back to where I am. I won’t let that be for nothing.”
Rumours of the departure were heightened following a report from Cyclingnews.com which mentioned his intentions to make a mid-season deal with another team.
Team Ineos officials were quick to put an end to the situation as they refused to comment, “We don’t comment on speculation or rider contracts.” They said.
More fuel was added to the Froome fire through social media platform Twitter. A tweet was posted stating that Froome had signed for Israel Start-Up Nation, however the official spokesperson doused the rumours.
“We never comment on interest or negotiations,” they said. “We certainly respect Chris Froome as a rider and as a person, and his past accomplishments speak for themselves.”
With Froome being one of the most decorated riders in the current peloton, there is no doubt any team looking to acquire his services will have to dig deep in their pockets.
Many teams would not be able to afford Froome’s talents especially with the Coronavirus pandemic, suspending all cycling events in the near future, but with being owned by a billionaire means that the Israeli team would be one of the few sides capable of completing such a deal.
Team Ineos’ state of internal competitiveness having developed after forming a roster packed full of tour winning riders could be a reason for some key athletes seeking a move away, which could be the case if Froome does not want the risk of assisting a teammate to a yellow jersey finish.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk