Cycling: Team INEOS confirm name change ahead of Tour de France

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - Castres, France - Team INEOS news conference - July 16, 2019 - The logo of Team INEOS is seen on a truck. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

(Reuters) - Team INEOS will be known as the INEOS Grenadiers from the start of this year’s Tour de France in a move designed to promote the sponsor’s new 4x4 vehicle, the British outfit said on Wednesday.

“The change will align the team with the Grenadier, a no-nonsense 4x4 vehicle designed, engineered and manufactured by INEOS Automotive,” Team INEOS said in a statement.

The Grenadier, designed to compete with the Land Rover, was unveiled this month and will go into production next year.

INEOS, a multinational petrochemical company founded by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, took over as main sponsor of Team Sky in 2019.

The team have won seven of the past eight Tours under general manager Dave Brailsford -- six out of seven as Team Sky and one as Team INEOS last year.

Team INEOS, who will part ways with Britain’s most decorated road cyclist, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, at the end of the season, have yet to announce their squad for this year’s Tour de France, which begins on Aug. 29 in Nice.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris