“He’s still involved with the team" - INEOS Grenadiers deny Dave Brailsford's Manchester United role will effect them

News broke on Saturday that due to Sir Dave Brailsford's growing role within English football giant, Manchester United, he would be stepping back from his role with the INEOS Grenadiers.

According to riders and staff of the INEOS Grenadiers who've been competing at the Tour Down Under this last week however, much of the discussion surrounding Brailsford has been hyperbole. “It’s been the same for the last couple of years. It’s just wording really,” Ben Swift told GCN. “He’s still involved with the team but he’s just got a more overall head role in the team, and that’s how it has been for the last couple of years.”

INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently purchased a stake in Manchester United and has made Brailsford a key figure in his attempts to overturn the club's fortunes. “Dave is now the boss of all INEOS Sport,” the team's sports director Oli Cookson says. “He’s still in contact with us, he’s just working across all the sports, so nothing really changes. Like the [Telegraph] article said, he was there in December and he’s in contact with us and all the sports. It’s only a positive thing if we look at the situation that INEOS is doing with all the sports.”

During his time working more closely with Team Sky/INEOS Grenadiers, Brailsford was instrumental in the Grand Tour wins of the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Tao Geoghegan Hart as British Cycling went through a real boom period.

Despite Brailsford's successes with Team Sky and the INEOS Grenadiers, there has also been controversy, most notably surrounding former team doctor, Richard Freeman who has since been found guilty of ordering testosterone for doping purposes. Brailsford and the team have always maintained their innocence and been adamant that they didn't know about the disgraced doctor's dodgy dealings.

“Everything about the team has been said. Of course, Dave’s heavily involved still, as he is with all the sports. Like I say we’re in a fortunate position with the situation, so there’s not really much else to say," Cookson concludes. “I think all teams are evolving. I don’t think there’s anything really to say on the Dave B matter, I think it’s quite clear that he’s got this position as the director of INEOS Sport, and he’s still in contact with us and involved in our successes and our structure.”

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