Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
The staffing shake-up at Ineos Grenadiers continues.
The team announced Friday night that former pro Roger Hammond joins as lead sport director for the new year while Ben Williams will bring performance expertise from the Ineos sailing team to the cycling squad.
“We are very pleased that Roger and Ben are joining us for the new season,” deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth said Friday. “They represent two very important appointments for the team as we prepare for the next adventure.”
The new recruits are a part of a wider reshuffle at the British squad.
Longtime coach Tim Kerrison is on the way out, and team principal Dave Brailsford is uncertain how long he will continue in his role as he struggles with his health. Meanwhile, Ellingworth is likely to see increased responsibility.
Hammond, 47, will bring a decade of experience to the director’s chair. He worked with the now-shuttered Madison Genesis, Dimension Data, and most recently Bahrain-Victorious, where he linked up with Ellingworth in 2020.
Williams acted as head of human performance at the Ineos Britannia sailing team for four years. The Brit will continue to work across both outfits in 2022 as Ineos Grenadiers maintains its ties with the elite sailing squad that also sits within the Jim Ratcliffe’s sprawling sports empire.
“Roger brings significant cycling experience and deep-rooted knowledge of the sport which will be invaluable as our lead sport director,” Ellingworth said.
“Ben brings a fresh perspective and we are keen for him to take a bit of time to stand back and observe how the team works before recommending how we can better integrate the different performance elements that are critical for future success.”
‘A new chapter lies ahead’
The backroom reshuffles at Ineos Grenadiers come off the back of a season of mixed success, at least by the team’s historic standards.
While Egan Bernal won the Giro d’Italia and Richard Carapaz hit the podium at the Tour de France, a second year in a row without a yellow jersey no doubt will have stung.
Ellingworth acknowledged the problems posed by Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič and their increasingly strong teams as grand tour racing evolves away from the days of Team Sky dominance.
“We are proud of what we have achieved, but a new chapter obviously lies ahead for us,” he said. “We know how tough the competition is, but there is real drive and determination from everyone here to make 2022 a very memorable year. Roger and Ben have a big part to play in that.”
And it won’t just be the backroom that looks different at Ineos Grenadiers. The team has been investing in youth during the off-season, bringing in Luke Plapp, Magnus Sheffield, and Ben Tulett for 2022 while key players like Rohan Dennis, Iván Sosa, Gianni Moscon, and Michał Gołaś have moved on or retired.
2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas is currently in the process of negotiating a contract extension, while rumors of a split with 2019 yellow jersey Bernal have recently been shot down by team staff. Olympic star Richard Carapaz is signed through 2022.
Hammond is hoping to help ring the changes after guiding Bahrain-Victorious to one of its best seasons in recent times this year where he served as performance director.
“It is a great opportunity to be part of charting the next chapter for the team and I can’t wait to get started,” Hammond said. “The team is very open to change and to find new ways to innovate and improve. That is incredibly motivating and I hope I can play my part in developing an ever more integrated performance model that can help bring future success.”