Geraint Thomas’s team-mate Chris Froome is confident they will still be racing in 2020 – even if it is under a different name.
The duo – who are both set to chase Tour de France glory next July – have seen their futures put under a cloud after Sky announced its sponsorship would finish at the end of 2019.
The riders are understood to have been told of the news by team chief Dave Brailsford while on their training camp in Majorca on Tuesday night.
But Froome, who like Thomas has a contract that runs until the end of 2021, is confident a new sponsor can be found.
Whether any new backer will match Sky’s reported £30m a year sponsorship which makes Team Sky the richest outfit in the peloton is the big question.
“I can’t predict the future but I can say this with absolute certainty, this is a really special team,” Froome said in a message on Twitter.
“We plan to be together in 2020 if at all possible and we will all be doing everything we can to help make that happen – in different colours with a new partner but with the same values, focus and desire to win.”
Froome, who like Thomas has been with Sky since its inception in 2010, is focussing on the new season.
The four-time Tour de France champ is expected to target a fifth Yellow Jersey next July putting him upon against his team-mate as they were this year.
“Everyone at Team Sky has got big ambitions for 2019 and this news has made us more determined than ever to make them happen,” Froome wrote.
“They (Sky) have been brilliant partners and it’s been an incredible journey we have shared together. They have helped me personally every step of the way and I will always be grateful for their support. And we are not finished by any means.
“And finally to the fans. Your support has always mattered most to us and the messages we have all received today have meant a lot. We look forward to seeing you on the road in January.”
Sky’s other Welsh riders Luke Rowe, who had also just signed a contract until 2021, and Owain Doull, whose deal runs out in 2019, will also be looking to their futures.