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Dave Brailsford to manage sprawling sports portfolio at Ineos

Founding Ineos Grenadiers manager will remain involved in the WorldTour team, but will take a larger role to coordinate interests in sailing, football, rugby, and Formula 1 for British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

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Dave Brailsford is moving up inside the Ineos sports metaverse, with a new job as “director of sport.”

The Brit will still have his fingers in the Ineos Grenadiers WorldTour cycling team, but he will also be involved in running the larger Ineos sports portfolio that includes sailing, football, rugby, and Formula 1.

“For me, there is no more exciting place to be in global sport right now than at Ineos given the extraordinary range of talents across the different teams,” Brailsford said in a press release Friday. “I am very pleased to have this new opportunity to work together with the other team leaders to look at how we can take advantage of these collective talents and develop a wider performance framework in partnership.”

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Brailsford, 57, was linked to the move in a report by TuttoBici earlier this year.

The full implications of what this means for the cycling team remains to be seen.

Longtime No. 2 Rod Ellingworth will take over the reins of the day to day, and he’s already made some key changes, including the exit of longtime coach Tim Kerrison.

“Alongside this new role, I will continue to lead Ineos Grenadiers with Rod Ellingworth as my deputy,” Brailsford said. “We are already deep into the planning for 2022 and are committed to going all in for next season.”

Brailsford was the founding principal of Team Sky in 2010, and helped build it into a WorldTour juggernaut.

The team won its first Tour in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins, and followed that up with four wins from Chris Froome, and one more each from Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.

After brushing aside a series of potentially damaging scandals, highlighted by the so-called “JiffyBag” affair, the team seemed poised to move into its next decade of domination with Bernal.

The arrival of a superior Tadej Pogacar, who has won back-to-back yellow jerseys, stymied the team’s forward progression at cycling’s most important race.

Dave Brailsford ready to move on to next challenge at Ineos

Brailsford — who dramatically reduced his availability to the media following a string of stinging reports about the team’s legacy that included questions surrounding TUE’s involving Wiggins and Froome’s salbutamol case — seems ready for a larger challenge.

“This culture and approach are at the heart of what makes Ineos such a successful business – a federal structure with clear responsibilities, but a desire to cross-pollinate new thinking and ideas across the group,” Brailsford said in a team statement. “The aim now is to replicate this model across the sports at Ineos.”

Ineos is backed by Jim Ratcliffe, who is among British’s richest people with a reported fortune topping $28 billion.

With Ratcliffe’s financial muscle, Brailsford appears to be hoping to replicate the Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers magic across the billionaire’s entire sports portfolio.