Ineos Grenadiers have admitted they are now the “hunter rather than the hunted” in the men’s WorldTour peloton and Grand Tours as they try to rebuild and relaunch in 2024 after changes in senior management and rider roster.
The British WorldTour still has a group of talented young riders and retained Geraint Thomas but lost a number of other big-name riders. An alleged attempt to sign Remco Evenepoel fell through after he promised loyalty to Soudal-QuickStep.
Dave Brailsford has formally stepped back from a management role in the team and Rod Ellingworth left abruptly during the winter, with John Allert promoted to CEO. Scott Drawer is the team’s new performance director and Steve Cummings is the new director of racing.
Allert refuted recent suggestions by Johan Bruyneel that Ineos Grenadiers budget has been cut by €10 million after a review of rider salaries. He was upbeat about the long-term future of the team, with sponsorship ambitions to try to win the Tour de France confirmed for the years to come.
“It’s fair to say that as a team, where we’re now the hunter, not the hunted, and that puts a slightly different complexion on things for us,” Allert said during a video call with British and international media, including Cyclingnews.
“We’ve clearly transitioned from one leadership to new leadership. I think we’ve got an exciting rider group and clearly we’ve made a good start to the season. I feel a lot of optimism in the team and I actually feel a lot of optimism in the sport.”
“I think there’s a lot said about our budget, we have what we believe to be a budget that will enable us to win Grand Tour races. Whether or not that’s the largest budget in the sport.
“We’ve certainly had no dilution of our budget, no decrease in our budget. And I think our budget is everything we need it to be.”
Allert surely knows that winning the Tour de France or perhaps even any Grand Tour in 2024 will be difficult.
Ineos Grenadiers are still considered one of the sport’s super teams but have been left behind by Visma-Lease A Bike and UAE Team Emirates, with Lidl-Trek and Bora-Hansgrohe stepping up a level for 2024.
“I think everybody can see that at the moment there are some pretty outstanding GC riders. I believe that we have a number of outstanding GC riders too…