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Geraint Thomas has worked with Rod Ellingworth for two decades yet heard about his resignation from Ineos Grenadiers on social media (Photo: Massimo Paolone)

Geraint Thomas may have worked with Rod Ellingworth – at Sky/Ineos and Team GB – for two decades but he says he found out about Ellingworth’s resignation from Ineos Grenadiers through social media like everyone else.

The 2018 Tour de France winner, and this year’s Giro d’Italia runner-up, Thomas said it was “gutting” to see Ellingworth leave his job as deputy team principal under team principal Dave Brailsford.

“I say disappointing but it was gutting really to see Rod step down or leave, or however you want to phrase it,” he said on his Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast.

“I spoke to him and he’s sad to be leaving but family stuff and whatever, and I don’t want to go into all the details, but from my side, and having known him for so long – a good twenty years now – on a personal level I know him well and we get on.

“I feel like he was good and great for the team. But things change and people move on. It was quite surprising as well. It was all over Twitter and he sent me a message saying he was leaving but it was leaked, which isn’t a surprise really.

“It will be sad to see him leave but he’ll still be around. He’ll still be following and he wants to be involved in the sport because that’s what he does and loves. Good luck to him. It’s all change in the team now I guess. A top bloke and he’ll definitely be missed.”

Ellingworth’s departure, which came as a major surprise, continues a trend of staff and riders leaving the team, though other new riders have been signed.

Aside from Ellingworth, who was among the founding management staff at the team, Matteo Tosatto, Roger Hammond and Ben Williams have also recently left. Tosatto was a sports director for six years and chose to leave for a role in Tudor Pro Cycling, an emerging ProConti team.

Hammond, also a sports director, has left after less than two years as has Williams, the former head of performance and support who had joined the Queens Park Rangers soccer team in a senior performance role.

The riders who have recently exited include: Dani Martínez (Bora-hansgrohe on a four-year deal), Pavel Sivakov (UAE Team Emirates on a three-year deal), Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl Trek on a three-year deal), Ben Tulett (Jumbo Visma on a two-year deal), Luke Plapp (Team Jayco AlUla on a four-year deal, breaking his contract early with Ineos Grenadiers).

For its part, Ineos Grenadiers has given a short statement to the media, in reply to queries about Ellingworth’s departure. “The Ineos Grenadiers can confirm that deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth, will be leaving the team at the end of the year. No further comment will be made at this stage,” it said.

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