Brammeier and Roche confirm Tinkov negotiations with Saxo Bank team
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Brammeier and Roche confirm Tinkov negotiations with Saxo Bank team

by Shane Stokes at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Indications that serious talks have been taking place

Oleg TinkovIt’s yet to be announced whether or not Oleg Tinkov will continue his backing of Bjarne Riis’ team – or possibly even take over ownership, as has been rumoured – but confirmation has been received that much negotiating has been done and that the riders are awaiting a decision.

Russian billionaire Tinkov began sponsoring the team prior to last year’s Tour de France and spoke about possibly increasing his backing prior to the 2013 edition of the race. However he became frustrated with Alberto Contador’s inability to win the event and said on July 25th, four days after the end of the Tour, that he was walking away.

More recently there have been reports that he may have had a change of heart, and was considering buying out Riis’ ownership. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on November 3rd that a deal had been done for a figure close to seven million euro; this was rejected by both the team and by Tinkov’s spokesman.

The latter, Stefano Feltrin, told VeloNation that Tinkov was considering several possibilities and that no decision had been made with any one team.

He reiterated that on Monday. “There is not any agreement for 2014 and beyond with Riis' team nor with any other. Lately we have declined some of the proposal we received and at present we are focusing on a very short list of possible projects,” he said, responding to a request for an update on the situation. “I believe we should finalize - or finally disengage - a decision during first week on December.”

Irish road race champion Matt Brammeier has confirmed to VeloNation that he had spoken to the team earlier this month about the possibility of coming on board. While that ultimately did not happen, with the 28 year old moving to Synergy Baku, he confirmed that negotiations with the Russian were intense.

“They were working on this Tinkoff thing day in, day out,” he said this week. “Every time I spoke to them they couldn't really give me any more information [about a possible contract – ed.], as basically they hadn’t been thinking about it too much. I think they were full-on trying to sort the Tinkoff negotiations out.

“I am not sure whether it is going to happen or not, I don’t know. I know they are definitely talking to him.”

Danish site reported this week that Tinkov has been in Gran Canaria with the team. It is holding a training camp there and, it seems, the talks about the team’s future may also be part of Riis’ timetable.

Current Saxo Tinkoff rider Nicolas Roche told VeloNation yesterday that the riders were still unsure whether or not something would be worked out.

“At the moment no-one knows. It is still a big question mark for everyone here,” he said. “We have talked about it during the first few days in the camp. We were told to be patient, to wait and see, and so we will wait and see.”

Also see: Gallery/video: Team Saxo Tinkoff trains in heat of Gran Canaria



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