Frost and Hoffman out of Team Saxo Tinkoff due to budget pressures
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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Frost and Hoffman out of Team Saxo Tinkoff due to budget pressures

by VeloNation Press at 5:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Frost: “It is an uncertain situation, and they can't promise me something”

Team Saxo TinkoffAlthough Saxo Bank said that it would cover the budget shortfall until a secondary sponsor was found, there are indications of money pressures at Team Saxo Tinkoff after two of its directeurs sportif were dropped from the team.

After it emerged this week that former pro Tristan Hoffman would not be part of the staff in 2014, Dan Frost has now confirmed that he too won’t have a job after his current contract ends on February 1st. He was told a month ago of the difficulties and while he waited a while in the hope that extra backing could be found to cover what was needed, it seems that time has run out for him.

“It’s sad, but that is the way things are right now in cycling with several teams that are stopping and so on,” he told Ritzau. “It is an uncertain situation, and they can't promise me something. I can’t live waiting ages to see if they can find another sponsor.”

The team was co-sponsored by Tinkoff Bank this season but its owner, Oleg Tinkov, expressed dissatisfaction during the Tour de France with Alberto Contador’s inability to beat Chris Froome. He criticised Contador publicly via his Twitter account and then, days after the Tour ended, both he and team owner Bjarne Riis confirmed that their talks about a prolongation of the partnership had unravelled.

Tinkov said that he would instead set up his own team, but more recently entered into talks to buy Cannondale. Those discussions were ultimately not fruitful, apparently due to Tinkov’s insistence that he should be able to take over complete ownership of the team. However on Sunday La Gazzetta dello Sport stated that he would buy Team Saxo Tinkoff for a figure close to seven million euro

According to his spokesman Stefano Feltrin, such a claim is premature. “After the end of our negotiation with Cannondale we have received several proposals - from existing teams and new projects - and we are working on them,” he told VeloNation. “Oleg’s relationship with Riis has been always ongoing - as he is, among other things, still his current sponsor.”

Asked if it was likely that Tinkov would be part of the peloton in 2014, he said that it was too soon to tell.

“We have signed nothing as of today with no one and I cannot predict whether this might happen for next year or not.”

While La Gazzetta has again insisted since then that a deal has been done, the news about Hoffman and Frost being dropped due to financial necessity suggest that may not be the case.

Frost states that he wants to continue in the sport, but accepts that being left on the sidelines so close to the end of the year makes things tough.

“We are both disappointed and upset by it, but I would like to be in the sport,” he said. “I am seeking other challenges within cycling.

“It will be difficult in 2014, it is late in the year. The teams that I have been in contact with are already full for 2014. But I aim to get in on a team again in 2015, when there will be replacements.”

Ritzau states that Riis’ team will drop from having six directeurs to four. Frost is clear on the reason. “It is due to the fact that there is no money in the kitty to have such a large setup. Perhaps a technical manager or a coach can play directeur sportif during the year in some situations.”

“I'm sorry to have to leave all the friends on the team. It is a bit like a family, one which travels around on the roads.”

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