Geraint Thomas has known as Rod Ellingworth’s resignation from his deputy crew principal function at Ineos Grenadiers “gutting” and “shocking”, saying that “he’ll undoubtedly be missed” on the British squad.
Thomas is the primary rider to publicly communicate out since Ineos Grenadiers confirmed that Ellingworth was leaving final Friday.
Ellingworth had performed a key function within the rise of the British crew from its inception as Group Sky in addition to the successes of British Biking. He arrange the British Biking Academy in 2004 after which labored as coach and efficiency supervisor at Sky/Ineos, attaining nice success alongside riders together with Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome, and Bradley Wiggins.
His departure from the crew, which he rejoined in 2021 after a one-year stint at Bahrain Victorious, was first reported by The Day by day Telegraph on Friday earlier than Ineos Grenadiers later confirmed the information to Cyclingnews.
“It was gutting actually to see Rod step down,” Thomas mentioned within the November 21 episode of the Geraint Thomas Biking Membership Podcast earlier than occurring to trace on the cause for his resignation.
“I had spoken to him and he is unhappy to be leaving however you understand household stuff or no matter – I do not wish to go into all the small print.
“Simply from my aspect, having recognized him for thus lengthy – a superb 20 years now – on a private degree I really feel I do know him nicely and we get on, and professionally, we have labored collectively for 20 years. I really feel like he was good, nice for the crew. However yeah, issues change, and other people transfer on. It was fairly shocking as nicely.”
Thomas, who’s presently in California for warm-weather coaching forward of the 2024 season following his low season “blowout” at house in Wales, mentioned that Ellingworth had tried to contact him to ship the information earlier than it leaked to the press.
“I felt fairly unhealthy as a result of he needed to name me, and I have been right here,” he mentioned. “I stored forgetting and I used to be like ‘oh shit, it will be okay, I will simply ring him tomorrow.’ Then it was throughout Twitter.
“He despatched me a message to simply say ‘I am leaving and blah blah blah, I simply needed to talk to you earlier than it got here out, but it surely appears to have leaked already which isn’t any shock, is it?’
“So yeah, it will be unhappy to see him go. However he’ll nonetheless be round, he’ll nonetheless be following, and I believe he nonetheless desires to be concerned within the sport as a result of that is what he does and loves. So yeah, good luck to him and it is all change within the crew now, I suppose.”
Ineos Grenadiers goes by a number of main modifications this low season, with sports activities director coordinator Roger Hammond having already left, directeur sportif Matteo Tosatto additionally leaving, and a number of other key riders – together with Tao Geoghegan Hart, Luke Plapp, Dani Martínez, and Pavel Sivakov – shifting on.
Extra change may but be on the way in which with crew principal Dave Brailsford one other determine who may probably go away the crew. He presently combines that function together with his place because the Ineos group’s director of sport however may transfer into a serious function at Manchester United as soon as Ineos proprietor Jim Ratcliffe finalises his buy of 25% of the football membership.
Thomas, who not too long ago prolonged his Ineos contract by 2025, did not touch upon the opposite huge strikes at Ineos this winter, as an alternative taking a short while initially of the podcast to speak about Ellingworth.
He instructed the story of how Ellingworth, then efficiency supervisor at Group Sky, waited on the end line on stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France for Dimension Knowledge rider Mark Cavendish, who had missed the time reduce on the mountainous day. Thomas, in the meantime, had received the stage, extending his yellow jersey lead on the way in which to general Tour victory.
“Clearly, and Cav have been within the GB Academy on the similar time, so we have recognized Rod and labored with him for an actual very long time,” Thomas mentioned.
“Rod wasn’t working with him on the identical crew on the time, however he was nonetheless an enormous a part of Cav’s profession and life. He hung round on the prime of the mountain when everybody had gone. Everybody was getting aggravated like ‘Why do we’ve to attend right here for this bloody man to complete?’ or no matter.
“However he stood there ready and I believe Cav appreciated that as nicely. Like once you’ve had such a grim day, you are out of the time reduce, you are going house from the Tour and to see a pleasant face there – it means so much to riders as nicely.
“So yeah, he is a prime bloke and he’ll undoubtedly be missed.”