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Sir Dave Brailsford: 'I don’t think there’s anything negative at all' after Team Sky backing ends

Sir Dave Brailsford says he can see no negatives in Sky withdrawing its funding for his cycling team.

It was announced on Wednesday that the broadcaster will withdraw sponsorship from Team Sky after the 2019 season.

Since its inception in 2010 Team Sky have won the Tour de France on six occasions, first with Bradley Wiggins in 2012, then Chris Froome was victorious on four occasions and this year Geraint Thomas came out of top.

Despite the blow, Brailsford believes that the change in circumstance could be a great opportunity for his team and he will do all he can to ensure it continues.

Asked if Team Sky will continue in a different form, Brailsford told ITV News: “Who knows? I can’t give any guarantees but I’d like to think there are opportunities out there.

"Obviously, there’s what we’ve achieved and that will never been taken away. It’s been fantastic and we’ve got 12 months ahead of us and I am sure we will have a future going forward."

Sir Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012. Credit: PA

Brailsford is focusing on the positives, despite the potential financial impact Sky's decision could have on the cycling team.

“I don’t think there’s anything negative at all. I think it’s been a fantastic era, and we’ve got another season yet to go, so we’ve still got 12 months racing and we’ve got to enjoy that.

"We’ve got to really, really enjoy the opportunity but also I’m sure we’ve got a future beyond Sky and change partners and move on. In a bigger picture, I don’t see the negatives, I just see the positives. I just look forward to getting out there this season and carry on racing."

The Team Sky general manager praised the work the broadcaster has done over the last decade for the riders and the sport itself.

Team Sky will be no more from the end of 2019.

Brailsford says he will be doing everything within his power to ensure the team does have a future.

“You couldn’t ask for a better sponsor or a better relationship; they’ve been brilliant for us, they’ve been brilliant for the team, they’ve been brilliant for the sport and I think we should thank them for that.

"My personal responsibility at the minute is to make sure there is a future for the team, the riders and I take that very seriously."

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome have both won the Tour de France. Credit: PA

Due to the amount of success Team Sky have achieved in recent times they should be an attractive prospect to any potential investor, meaning Brailsford has good reason to be optimistic.

“When I look forward it’s one of opportunity. Life changes; change leads to change and we’re used to dealing with change, so it’s pretty exciting, to be honest.

"I think we can look forward, we can look at new opportunities. We like to build things, that’s who we are as people, we like to build things. We’re not negative, we don’t worry, we just build things, so it’s a pretty exciting position to be in, actually, so I am pretty positive."

Regardless of what the future hold for Brailsford and Team Sky, there will be no regrets from him.

“I think our record at the races and what we’ve achieved, the team that we’ve built, the way that we’ve raced, the way we’ve built the staffing team has been a fantastic journey, so we’ve got no regrets whatsoever and we look forward and to continue to build."

Rider Froome is confident that Team Sky will continue in the future.

"I've got every confidence," Froome told ITV News. "If we have a season that's anything like our previous seasons, we will be able to find another sponsor.

"I'm really happy with the team and I've got every confidence we'll continue to move forward and continue to win bike races."

This year's Tour de France winner, Thomas, believes the team will be an attractive prospect to any potential sponsor. ""It was a bit of a shock and disappointing but it doesn't mean it's the end of the team.

"There's a lot more opportunities out there and when you look at it's one of the strongest sports teams in the world, not just in cycling but in sport in general, so I think it's an amazing opportunity for other sponsors and for us to have different partners.

"Obviously, it's a big unknown but it's exciting at the same time.