New Team Sky boss Jim Ratcliffe faces green protest at the Tour de Yorkshire next month
- Face masks of Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, will be circulated to cycling fans
- His company have been accused of using cycling to ‘greenwash’ their image
- Environmentalists want to draw attention to INEOS’s involvement with fracking
Face masks of Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, will be circulated to cycling fans by environmental campaigners at next week’s Tour de Yorkshire in protest against Team Sky’s new owners.
Team Sky are using the race to morph into Team INEOS after securing a three-year £120million deal with the petrochemicals giant.
But environmentalists led by Friends of the Earth are planning to campaign against INEOS’s involvement with fracking, with local groups set to attend the Team launch on May 1 before protesting over the course of the four-day stage race.
Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS have been accused of using cycling to ‘greenwash’ their image
Sportsmail understands campaigners plan to produce face masks of billionaire Ratcliffe, who is the chairman and chief executive of INEOS.
On the reverse of each mask will be details of INEOS and its involvement with oil and gas exploration and production.
The all-conquering Team Sky are no strangers to criticism. At last year’s Tour de France team presentation Sky were booed and branded ‘cheats’ despite an anti-doping investigation clearing Chris Froome of any wrongdoing.
Team Sky also faced severe criticism in a parliamentary report on doping in sport.
A spokesman for Friends of the Earth has previously accused INEOS of using cycling to ‘greenwash’ their image, while team principal Sir Dave Brailsford was essentially accused of hypocrisy given the team’s previous support for the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.