The deal turning Team Sky into Team Ineos provides “an impenetrable wall of money” which could turn fans away from the sport, a rival team boss claims.

On Tuesday UK chemicals firm Ineos was confirmed as the new sponsor of the team led by Sir Dave Brailsford.

Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will potentially increase the team’s £35m budget.

“You buy certainty,” EF Education First Pro Cycling’s Jonathan Vaughters said. “You’re purchasing the ability to win.”

“You’re looking at an almost impenetrable wall of money. You can basically go buy all the best riders. The question for the sport is if they are all on one team, is it fun for spectators to watch?

“If you think of it in terms of chess, it’s essentially like you’re buying more queens. Dave Brailsford has five or six queens on the team. Most teams can only afford one queen.

“So if Chris Froome isn’t good, Geraint Thomas can win. If Thomas isn’t good, Egan Bernal can win. Michal Kwiatkowski, a former world champion, is down the succession and in any other team he would be the diamond of the team.

“Even if your strategy is off, or you have bad luck, you’re still going to win the race as you’ve gone over the top financially by such a large margin.”


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