Tour de Yorkshire sponsorship could tarnish the sport, say campaigners

Team Sunweb's Max Walscheid wins the sprint in North Bay Scarborough to take the Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 3.  Richmond to Scarborough. 5 May 2018.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Team Sunweb's Max Walscheid wins the sprint in North Bay Scarborough to take the Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 3. Richmond to Scarborough. 5 May 2018. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Some of the best UK cyclists will ride in The Tour de Yorkshire this week under their new banner of Team INEOS (formerly Team SKY).

The Tour is a source of great celebration and multiple benefits to the area but we believe that this sponsorship by INEOS tarnishes cycling as a sport.

We are facing a climate crisis of massive proportions.

INEOS holds 21 licences, covering much of Yorkshire, to frack for shale gas, with the primary purpose of manufacturing yet more plastics.

Does the UK need more plastics and more fossil fuel exploitation?

If we are serious at all about tackling our climate crisis we need to change our direction of travel radically.

INEOS appears not to grasp this.

It should not be allowed to align itself with sport and healthy activity, especially involving young people.

We have excluded the tobacco industries from sports sponsorship.

Fracking, plastics and fossil fuel expansion should similarly be restricted.

Cycling, whether for leisure or competition, encourages a healthy lifestyle and fitness for all ages.

We urge everyone with an interest in cycling and in reversing the causes of our climate crisis to let their views be seen and heard at the Tour (without causing any disruption to the race), to detach INEOS from its sponsorship of this wonderful sport.

On behalf of Yorkshire and Humberside Region Friends of the Earth, Frack Free United, East Yorkshire Frack Free, Frack Free Scarborough