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Chris Froome leaves Ineos for Israel Start-Up Nation

Team Ineos leader Christ Froome greets the crowd at the Saitama Criterium in Japan in October 2019
Team Ineos leader Chris Froome greets the crowd at the Saitama Criterium in Japan in October 2019 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Chris Froome will leave Team Ineos at the end of the season after signing a multi-year contract at Israel Start-Up Nation. The move was confirmed on Thursday morning with Ineos announcing that Froome would be leaving the team he first joined in 2010.

The four-time Tour de France winner has been in contract negotiations with several teams throughout the summer, with Cyclingnews revealing in May that a mid-season move was discussed earlier in the year. Both Bahrain McLaren and Israel Start-Up Nation linked with a move for the 35-year-old. 

A mid-season move was complicated by a number of factors, not least that Froome would have needed to have been bought out of his existing contract. CCC Team were also linked to Froome but Israel Start-Up Nation were always in the driving seat and were able to offer the one thing Ineos couldn’t  - complete leadership for the Tour de France. Bahrain-McLaren’s interest faded due to their ongoing financial difficulties, and Froome agreed to sign with the Israeli team after a training camp in France last month.

A multi-year agreement – understood to be for five years - has now been reached, and Froome will move to Israel Start-Up Nation at the beginning of 2021. The Israeli team confirmed the move later on Thursday morning.

"Chris’s current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it. We are making this announcement earlier than would usually be the case to put an end to recent speculation and allow the Team to focus on the season ahead," Dave Brailsford said in a statement released on Thursday.

Froome was in line to ride the Tour de France with Ineos this year as he looked to win a record-equalling fifth title. Ineos also have the last two Tour winners in their team, with Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas set to also feature as leaders. Froome’s Tour de France place has yet to be confirmed.

It’s unclear whether Froome will bring any backroom staff with him from Ineos to his new team but Israel Start-Up Nation are already considering several options in the transfer market as they look to improve their stage-racing squad.

"It has been a phenomenal decade with the Team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories. I look forward to exciting new challenges as I move into the next phase of my career but in the meantime, my focus is on winning a fifth Tour de France with Team INEOS," Froome said.

Chris Froome's victories at Team Sky and Ineos: A timeline

2011

Vuelta a España: Overall and stage 17

2012

Tour de France: stage 7

2013

Tour of Oman: Overall, stage 5

Tirreno-Adriatico: Stage 4

Critérium International: Overall, stage 3

Tour de Romandie: Overall, prologue

Critérium du Dauphiné: Overall, stage 5

Tour de France: Overal, three stages

2014

Tour of Oman: Overall, stage 5

Tour de Romandie: Overall, stage 5

Critérium du Dauphiné: Two stages

2015

Vuelta a Andalucía: Overall, stage 4

Tour de Romandie: Stage 1

Critérium du Dauphiné: Overall, two stages

Tour de France: Overal, stage 10

2016

Herald Sun Tour: Overall, stage 4

Tour de Romandie: Stage 4

Critérium du Dauphiné: Overall, stage 5

Tour de France: Overal, two stages

Vuelta a España: Three stages

2017

Tour de France: Overall

Vuelta a España: Overall, two stages

2018

Giro d'Italia: Overall, two stages