Team Ineos set to race for first time earlier than planned

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas on a climb during the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race
Geraint Thomas will lead Team Ineos at the Tour de Romandie

Team Sky will race as Team Ineos for the first time earlier than planned at the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland.

The new team were set to launch at the Tour de Yorkshire from 2-5 May.

Under the rules of cycling's governing body, the UCI, teams cannot compete in separate races under different names or change their name mid-race, with the Tour de Romandie running from 30 April until 5 May.

The British team will still reveal their new kit and colours in Yorkshire.

At Romandie, where Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas is competing, they will wear a one-off black kit with a white logo of Ineos, according to race organisers.

The chemicals firm, owned by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, confirmed its takeover of the team last month.

Broadcaster Sky said in December it would end its decade-long commitment at the end of 2019, during which time Team Sky have won eight Grand Tours.

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will race in Team Sky colours for the final time at the Tour of the Alps from 22-26 April.

The team's final race as Team Sky will be the one-day 'monument' classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege on 28 April.

Meanwhile, performance director Rod Ellingworth will leave Team Sky at the end of the season to join Bahrain Merida, who are backed by McLaren.

Former British Cycling coach Ellingworth has been with Team Sky since their inception in 2010.

"Everyone at the team thanks Rod for his immense service and contribution during his time with us," read a Team Sky statement.

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