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Rod Ellingworth rejoins Ineos as Director of Racing

Ellingworth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rod Ellingworth has been announced as the Director of Racing at Ineos Grenadiers.

The news comes just a few days after Ellingworth stepped down from his role as team principal at Bahrain McLaren. Ellingworth left Ineos in 2019 in order to take up the managing role at Bahrain McLaren. 

Ineos Grenadiers will also move Dan Hunt into the position of Director of Performance. This evening after staff were informed, and Cyclingnews broke the story the team confirmed the news.

"We can confirm the appointments of Rod Ellingworth as Director of Racing and Dan Hunt as Director of Performance. Both Rod and Dan rejoin the team to help cement a new approach to racing and build upon the foundation laid on the road at the end of 2020. Rod will be taking the lead on the racing programme, including talent identification, development and recruitment, while Dan will focus on the development of our performance strategy and systems," a spokesperson for the team said.

Ellingworth enjoyed huge success at Team Sky/Ineos between 2010 and 2019 and helped the team to several wins in the Tour de France. He was an important part of the management regime under Dave Brailsford but in 2019 he was approached by Bahrain McLaren and asked to lead their assault on Tour de France glory.

Ellingworth took over and led the team throughout the 2020 season, with Mikel Landa finishing fourth in the Tour de France. However, the team were dogged by financial pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with pay deferrals of up to 70 per cent for some riders and staff during the spring. 

The team were unable to maximize their strength in the transfer market, with only Jack Haig signed for 2021, while McLaren were forced to take a step back for financial reasons. 

Ellingworth travelled to Bahrain last week for a series of meetings and tendered his resignation last Monday before an announcement was officially made on Thursday.

At the time of his departure, Bahrain McLaren announced that Ellingworth wanted to concentrate on the development of young talent. Bahrain-McLaren managing director Milan Eržen claimed he did not know where Ellingworth would be working in 2021.

“He was with us in Bahrain for the last few days and we know that he had an offer from another team,”  Eržen told Cyclingnews via phone. 

“That’s a normal part of sport and business. I’m really glad that I had 18 months to work with him because his view on cycling is amazing. For us, I don’t think that much will change in the future."

“There was nothing wrong, and this is just cycling. It’s business. We’ve had meetings with the rest of the management and the guys and at this moment we’ll just wait. For now everything on our team will run like before. Life has taught me not to be disappointed about these things. It’s just life, it’s cycling.”

At Ineos, he will find no shortage of up-and-coming riders to work with in 2021, with Tom Pidcock, Carlos Rodríguez, Ethan Hayter, Ivan Sosa, Pavel Sivakov, Egan Bernal and Jhonathan Naravaez all 23 or under.

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.