The annual financial report of the Ineos Grenadiers management company has revealed that the British WorldTour squad maintained a healthy budget of €50.1 million despite the 2020 racing calendar being cut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report of team owners Tour Racing Limited, published this week, reveals that unlike several other WorldTour teams, such as CCC and Astana, that took massive hits during the pandemic Ineos' budget dropped only €700,000 compared with 2019.
There were fears that the British organisation might suffer when Jim Ratcliffe's side venture, Petroineos appealed for a huge loan package when oil prices plummeted in 2020. However despite the WorldTour calendar being slashed from 181 days of racing in 2019 to only 115 days in 2020, Ineos Grenadiers' budget exceeded the organisation's operating costs, which amounted to €49.966 million compared with €50,150 million in 2019.
Ineos Grenadiers are widely believed to have the biggest team budget in the sport.
Most of the team's revenue came from sponsorship. When Ineos stepped in for Team Sky in 2019, the team's budget rose from €42.9 million in 2018 to €50.8 million. Cash sponsorship for the team in 2020 was €46.374 million with additional 'in-kind', or products, valued at €3.733 million.
As one of the best-funded WorldTour squads, Team Sky was the world's best team in 2017 when it's budget was a mere €39.4 million and Chris Froome won the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
They were second to QuickStep in 2018 but in the past two years, Ineos Grenadiers have been surpassed by Jumbo-Visma, another well-funded team. They were ranked fifth in 2019 despite taking the top two spots in the Tour de France with Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, as the UCI revised its team ranking system.
In 2020, the organisation did not win the Tour de France for the first time since 2014, with Richard Carapaz, in 13th, the best finisher for Ineos Grenadiers. They claimed the Giro d'Italia with Tao Geoghegan Hart and second in the Vuelta with Carapaz.
Budget does not necessarily lead to victories. Deceuninck-Quickstep won the most races in 2020 despite having a budget that's less than half of Ineos', taking to the top step of the podium 40 times, double the number of races won by Ineos.
This season, Ineos Grenadiers have already won 28 times – including the overall Giro d'Italia with Egan Bernal, the Tour de Romandie with Geraint Thomas, Tour de Suisse with Carapaz and Criterium du Dauphiné with Richie Porte. That lifted them to the top spot in the UCI World Rankings.
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news.
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