Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said that he aims to do everything in is power to make sure his team continues, following the announcement that long-time title sponsor Sky would end its financial backing of the team in 2019.
In an interview with ITV Wednesday, Brailsford said he sees no negativity surrounding Sky's sponsorship withdraw, and instead views it as an opportunity for change.
Asked how Team Sky will continue, and in what form, Brailsford told ITV, "Who knows? I can't give any guarantees, but I'd like to think there are opportunities out there.
"Obviously, there's what we've achieved, and that will never be taken away. It's been fantastic, and we've got 12 months ahead of us, and I am sure we will have a future going forward."
The broadcaster, Sky, has sponsored the team since its inception in 2010, and the outfit has gone on to be one of the most successful teams in cycling, winning six Tours de France; Chris Froome won four Tours, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, while Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour and Geraint Thomas won the coveted yellow jersey this July.
Brailsford has chosen to remain positive in his communications with the press, telling ITV that he hopes the team will follow through with another successful season in 2019, its last under the Sky brand.
"I don't think there's anything negative at all," he said in the interview. "I think it's been a fantastic era, and we've got another season yet to go, so we've still got 12 months racing and we've got to enjoy that.
"We've got to really, really enjoy the opportunity, but also I'm sure we've got a future beyond Sky and change partners and move on. In a bigger picture, I don't see the negatives, I just see the positives. I just look forward to getting out there this season and carry on racing."
Brailsford also praised Sky for its financial support over the past nine seasons, saying he couldn't have asked for a better relationship with a title sponsor.
"They've been brilliant for us, they've been brilliant for the team, they've been brilliant for the sport and I think we should thank them for that," he said.
- Sky to end sponsorship after 2019
- Team Sky set 2019 Tour de France as deadline to find new sponsors
- Acquadro confident Brailsford can save Team Sky
- Chris Froome: We are not finished by any means
Team Sky has announced its contract renewals with Thomas extending through 2021, and Froome's still has two years left on his contract. The team recently announced a five-year deal with Egan Bernal and a three-year deal with Ivan Sosa.
"My personal responsibility at the minute is to make sure there is a future for the team, the riders, and I take that very seriously," Brailsford said, adding that he is not worried about the team's future, and that he will continue to work to build on what the team has already achieved.
"I think our record at the races and what we’ve achieved, the team that we’ve built, the way that we’ve raced, the way we’ve built the staffing team, has been a fantastic journey, so we’ve got no regrets whatsoever and we look forward and to continue to build."
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