Geraint Thomas ‘gutted’ to see Rod Ellingworth leave Ineos Grenadiers
Geraint Thomas has called news that Rod Ellingworth is to leave the Ineos Grenadiers “gutting”.
The team announced on Friday evening that Ellingworth will leave his post as deputy team principal at the end of the year.
Ellingworth has effectively been in day-to-day charge of the team with Sir Dave Brailsford having taken on a broader role across all of Ineos’ sporting interests – a major role for him at Manchester United is expected once Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes his purchase of a minority stake in the club.
Thomas came through the British Cycling Academy that Ellingworth managed and the pair have worked together for much of the Welshman’s career, with both joining what was Team Sky from the outset in 2010 and enjoying huge success – including Thomas’s Tour de France win in 2018 – over the next decade.
Speaking on his Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast, Thomas admitted the news came as a surprise.
“I say disappointing but it was gutting really to see Rod step down or leave, or however you want to phrase it,” said the 37-year-old, who signed a new two-year contrast last month.
“I spoke to him and he’s sad to be leaving but family stuff and whatever, and I don’t want to go into all the details, but from my side, and having known him for so long – a good 20 years now – on a personal level I know him well and we get on.
“I feel like he was good and great for the team. But things change and people move on. It was quite surprising as well…
“It will be sad to see him leave but he’ll still be around. He’ll still be following and he wants to be involved in the sport because that’s what he does and loves. Good luck to him. It’s all change in the team now I guess. A top bloke and he’ll definitely be missed.”
Ellingworth leaves after two seasons in which the once-dominant team have been unable to win a Grand Tour, although Thomas finished third in last year’s Tour and second in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
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