Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Wednesday that Comcast, the company that purchased broadcaster Sky in September, could take over the sponsorship of Team Sky for two years starting in 2020. On December 12, Team Sky revealed that the British telecommunications giant will end its role as title sponsor at the end of the 2019 season. There’s also speculation a-whirl that Sylvan Adams, the Canadian-Israeli billionaire behind Israel Cycling Academy and the man who helped bring the Giro d’Italia to Israel last season, could take over sponsorship of Team Sky.
According to Gazzetta, Comcast would provide 70% of the team’s budget for the next two seasons. Ever since its creation in 2010, Team Sky has had the biggest budget in the top echelon of men’s road cycling. With Comcast’s funding and other sponsors aboard team principal Dave Brailsford would be able to keep riders like reigning Tour de France titlist Geraint Thomas, six-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome, 2019 Giro hopeful Egan Bernal and his powerful ranks of “Skybots”.
Not long until the season gets underway now… pic.twitter.com/nFQV1lI6RJ
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) January 2, 2019
Interestingly, the Italian publication said that Comcast would be willing to put money into the squad without being the title sponsor and its name absent from the kits. After Rabobank withdrew its funding at the end of 2012, the Dutch outfit that’s now Team Jumbo-Visma carried on without title sponsorship in 2013 as Blanco Pro Cycling Team.
Adams recently told VeloNews that he was hoping to have his Israel Cycling Academy squad in the Tour de France by 2020. A direct route to this goal would be to purchase a WorldTour team and merge it with ICA, home to Canadians Guillaume Boivin, Ben Perry, and as of this year, Alexander Cataford. Adams would only go as far as telling VeloNews, “There are several discussions happening with more than one WorldTour team.”
Although the Giro organizers won’t release the list of wildcard teams to race the 102nd edition from May 11-June 2, Israel Cycling Academy is favoured to make list of four Pro Continental outfits.
Team Sky kicks off its 2019 campaign with the first WorldTour race of the season, the Santos Tour Down Under starting on January 15. Dutchman Wout Poels will lead the way.
— Wout Poels (@WoutPoels) November 30, 2018