Riders rejecting Ineos Grenadiers to ride for less money at Jumbo-Visma, says Ian Boswell
Former Team Sky rider discusses how the British team have slipped down the pecking order
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Ian Boswell rode for Team Sky between 2013 and 2017
In the wake of Rod Ellingworth's resignation from Ineos Grenadiers, former rider Ian Boswell has added his take on what is going wrong for the British team, with the American revealing that he has friends who have chosen to sign for Jumbo-Visma on "significantly less money", rather than joining Ineos.
Boswell, who rode for the team when they were known as Team Sky, made his comments on last week's episode of The Cycling Podcast, painting a picture of a team without a clear strategy following years of Grand Tour dominance with Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.
With many of their original goals as a team ticked off, Boswell described their inability to sign today's star riders as "worrisome".
"In 2010, when the team was started, they had a very clear goal of winning the Tour de France with a British rider. It was a British team, they had this really strong identity of who they were and what they wanted to do," noted Boswell.
"If you look at their roster now, do they really have anyone who can theoretically win the Tour in 2024? I don't think so, but they haven't really focused on sprints, they've chosen to not pick up someone like [Mark] Cavendish.
"They definitely don't have the best Classics team, so I feel like they're the last person in the room [when] the music stops [and] they don't have a chair to sit on."
Boswell rode for Team Sky between 2013 and 2017, and despite having been retired from professional road racing since 2019, he still has friends in the current peloton and admitted that many have recently turned down a move to Ineos Grenadiers.
"I'm friends with a couple other riders who this past year chose to not sign with that team, and to go to Jumbo[-Visma] instead, for significantly less money, because they said from what they've heard internally with what's happening with the team, the culture of the team, the dynamic of it, that they were willing to race for significantly less money and go to a team where they could most likely achieve more success," Boswell said.
"[A team] That is more – I don't want to say more functional – but a little more on top of it at the moment. To a team that is going up rather than a team that seems every year [to be] taking a step down."
Two riders have moved between Ineos and Jumbo this off-season, with Tobias Foss leaving the Dutch squad for the Grenadiers, whilst Ben Tulett made the opposite move, hoping to continue his development at Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch team also snapped up US all-rounder Matteo Jorgenson from Movistar, as well as two young talents in Per Strand Hagenes and Johannes Staune-Mittet.
Ellingworth's resignation is the latest in a number of changes happening within the organisation over the winter, and whilst the announcement took many riders by surprise, The Cycling Podcast's Daniel Friebe reports that his decision had been made a couple of weeks in advance.
In his absence, the British team will have to adjust in 2024 and find a new leader to galvanise behind, but whilst the likes of Thomas and Josh Tarling insist that Ineos Grenadiers have a bright future ahead, Boswell remains unconvinced by the current set-up, which seems a far cry from the days in which he and his teammates won numerous Tours de France.
"They don't really have a lynch pin of the team, or an athlete or a goal through which they can say 'let's build the team around this'.
"To see a team with such organisation, and also with such a big budget, with the opportunity and the ability to sign riders who could be the marquee rider on the team, and to have not made those selections over the last couple of years when those riders have been available... it is a little bit worrisome."