Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome will leave Team Ineos at the end of the year after a decision was taken not to renew his contract.
The announcement came among intense speculation that the two-time Olympic bronze medallist is poised to sign for Israel Start-Up Nation, though Froome will still attempt to win a fifth Tour title with Team Ineos later this year as the switch will not take place until 2021.
"It has been a phenomenal decade with the Team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories,” Froome said in a statement.
“I look forward to exciting new challenges as I move into the next phase of my career but in the meantime my focus is on winning a fifth Tour de France with Team Ineos."
Team Ineos general manager Dave Brailsford added: "Chris’s current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it. We are making this announcement earlier than would usually be the case to put an end to recent speculation and allow the Team to focus on the season ahead.
"Chris has been with us from the start. He is a great champion and we have shared many memorable moments over the years but I do believe this is the right decision for the Team and for Chris.
“Given his achievements in the sport, Chris is understandably keen to have sole team leadership in the next chapter of his career - which is not something we are able to guarantee him at this point. A move away from Team Ineos can give him that certainty. At the same time, it will also give other members of our Team the leadership opportunities they too have earned and are rightly seeking.
“I am excited about the talent we have right across the Team at the current time and all our collective focus is on preparing for the season ahead. Like everyone across the sport we are all looking forward to the start of racing next month.