My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Riis may sell Saxo Bank team to Tinkov - or?

Category: Cycling

There is currently rumors that Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov has bought Bjarne Riis’ team.

Gazzetta dello Sport writes that Tinkov has paid Riis close to seven million Euro to take control of the team from Riis.

This year, Tinkov and Riis have had a difficult relationship. In the summer, Tinkov announced the end of his sponsorship of the Saxo Bank team after failing to reach an agreement with Riis for 2014. He also criticized team leader Alberto Contador about his high salary and poor performance at the Tour de France.

Since then, Oleg Tinkov has confirmed that he was looking to buy a WorldTour team. He spoke to the Cannondale team, but when the talks with them ended, he said that he was ready to sit out a season and build his own team for 2015.

Saxo Bank has confirmed it would boost its sponsorship in 2014 to cover the loss of Tinkoff Credit Systems as a second sponsor. Alberto Contador has announced that he will stay with Riis' team. But if the news is confirmed, the Danish bank and the Spaniard could have a new and more difficult team owner to deal with.

However, the Saxo Bank team now denies that team owner Bjarne Riis has sold out to Oleg Tinkov. However, it seems like the Russian businessman is still in talks with Riis and several other teams,

“It’s wrong to say that we’ve bought Riis’ team. Nothing has been signed and were still talking to a number of teams about possible projects,” Tinkov's Italian legal advisor Stefan Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

“Following Oleg’s interview with Cyclingnews we received proposals from several current teams, both WorldTour and Professional Continental teams, and other ideas for teams from people in Italy, France, Britain and the USA. We’re still talking to several of them and considering their proposals but nothing has been signed.”

“We’re still talking to Riis, we have been talking for two months despite the past differences, but it’s just one project we’re considering.”

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