Ineos Grenadiers’ performance director Rod Ellingworth called the recent whirlwind of rumors surrounding the team “no stories”, insisting that team boss Dave Brailsford and Giro d’Italia champion Egan Bernal “are not going anywhere”.
Brailsford’s future has been called into question after reports in the Italian press suggested he was on the verge of stepping down from his long-standing role as team manager in order to take charge of the wider sporting project from the sponsor Ineos.
Ellingworth, who left the team in 2020 to become manager of Bahrain Victorious, is said to be in contention for the top post after making an early comeback at Ineos as racing director at the start of this season.
Talk to Cycling news at the World Championships in Belgium, Ellingworth refuted the idea that Brailsford would soon quit first place.
“He always does stuff. There’s the sporting angle of Ineos, he’s really into it and he does a great job with it all, but he’s not going anywhere. This team is his passion, in that sense.
Ellingworth suggested he was doing more and that Brailsford was doing less, compared to the last time they worked together. However, he denied that there were any significant changes in the management of the team.
“We share stuff. We work very well together. I really appreciate being back. It’s like everything, you go and things change, but I’m excited about this next phase of the team, ”he said.
“Dave was very happy to share more of these responsibilities within the team. I have certainly been much more active in recruiting runners. So there were few things, which are quite natural – some kind of progression. At the end of the day, it’s teamwork, and there is work to be done. It depends on where we are, what we are doing and what else is going on.
“At the end of the day, Dave is the boss, he runs this show. I am happy to do what I do and am also happy to pick up a few pieces when needed. “
Ellingworth also responded to speculation surrounding Bernal’s future.
The Colombian, who won the Tour de France in 2019 and the Giro this season, has a contract until 2023. However, it has been suggested that he has grown unhappy and is looking to leave.
There was a claim in Italian media that Bernal disagreed with team managers at Vuelta a España – where he placed sixth – and rumors gathered pace when the French newspaper The team suggested three possible alternate destinations.
“It’s a non-story,” Ellingworth said. “At the end of the day, Egan has another two-year contract, that’s it.
“Is Egan happy?” Well, I was with him on the last night of the Giro and I would say the guy was pretty happy. We had a good night, I tell you. Was he happy at La Vuelta? He went there to win the race so I’m sure he wasn’t happy. Is he happy with the team? You would have to ask him, but from my point of view, I think he’s happy with the team.
“It’s just lost in the translation somewhere. He’s got a two-year contract, so he’s not going anywhere.