Chris Froome: We are not finished by any means

Team Sky leader pens upbeat message after Sky end sponsorship

Chris Froome has reacted to news that Sky will end its backing of Team Sky after the 2019 season, suggesting the team is "not finished by any means."

"I can't predict the future but I can say this with absolute certainty, this is a really special team," Froome said in a message on Twitter. "We plan to be together in 2020 if at all possible and we will all be doing everything we can to help make that happen – in different colours with a new partner but with the same values, focus and desire to win."

Froome is preparing for the 2019 season with his Team Sky teammates in Mallorca. They and team staff apparently heard that Sky was ending its support of the team late on Tuesday night.

Froome has been with Team Sky since the British WorldTour team was created in 2010, emerging as a team leader after finishing second in the 2011 Vuelta a España.

He has won the Tour de France four times in Team Sky colours, adding a victory at the Vuelta a España in 2017 and at the Giro d'Italia in 2018. He is the team's leader but had to fight to save his name after returning an adverse analytical finding for asthma drug salbutamol during the 2017 Vuelta a España. He was eventually cleared before this year's Tour de France.

Like many of his teammates, Froome has a contract with Team Sky that extends beyond 2019. He signed a new contract in 2017 that runs until the end of 2021. He is expected to target a fifth Tour de France victory in 2019.

"Everyone at Team Sky has got big ambitions for 2019 and this news has made us more determined than ever to make them happen," Froome wrote.

He praised Sky and the team's fans for their long support.

"They have been brilliant partners and it's been an incredible journey we have shared together. They have helped me personally every step of the way and I will always be grateful for their support. And we are not finished by any means," he wrote.

"And finally to the fans. Your support has always mattered most to us and the messages we have all received today have meant a lot. We look forward to seeing you on the road in January."

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