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Team Sky thought to be safe despite Sky plc takeover

Despite the takeover of Sky plc by American telecommunications company Comcast this week, the Team Sky cycling organisation's future is thought to be safe.

Sky plc chairman James Murdoch – son of News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch – has always been a strong supporter of the cycling team, but resigned from the Sky plc board on Tuesday on the back of the successful £29.7 billion takeover deal.

In an article published on telegraph.co.uk on Tuesday, the Telegraph said that its understanding is that Team Sky and their staff and riders are safe, despite Comcast becoming the majority owner of the team's owning company, and that insiders say Team Sky has "always been more Jeremy Darroch's project than Murdoch's", with Darroch continuing in his role as Sky plc's chief executive.

Sky plc ended its partnership with British Cycling at the end of the 2016 season – and was replaced at the federation by HSBC UK – but Sky's backing of the WorldTour team has continued.

The newspaper suggests that Team Sky have a 'secure funding cycle' until 2024, which tallies with the fact that the cycling team agreed a five-year lease with the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance this year, while it also signed a five-year contract extension with rising cycling star Egan Bernal on October 5, which will keep the Colombian climber with the team until the end of 2023.

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas also recently signed a new three-year contract with Team Sky, despite interest from a number of other squads, which keeps him at the team until the end of the 2021 season.

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