‘Important news’ about future of Team Saxo Tinkoff to be released Monday
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Friday, November 29, 2013

‘Important news’ about future of Team Saxo Tinkoff to be released Monday

by Shane Stokes at 2:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Source states Tinkov has agreed purchase of Riis’ Saxo Tinkoff team

Saxo TinkoffBjarne Riis’ Team Saxo Tinkoff has called a press conference in London on Monday afternoon, stating that it will include ‘important news about the future of the team.’

The announcement will take place in Google London’s office on St. Giles High Street. Danish media reported that the computer giant could become involved with the team, but this has since been dismissed.

However a source close to the team has stated that businessman Oleg Tinkov will buy the Danish squad from Riis. It remains to be seen if the Dane will remain involved in a management capacity or will walk away from the sport.

He is reportedly the subject of an investigation by Anti-Doping Denmark, a factor which may have prompted him to sell.

Tinkov has been a co-sponsor of the team since mid 2012 and made an important contribution to the budget that permitted owner Bjarne Riis to purchase the services of several important riders.

While Alberto Contador already had an agreement to race for the team after he returned from his suspension, the Tinkov contribution enabled Riis to sign riders such as Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche and Michael Rogers.

However the Russian billionaire became frustrated during this year’s Tour de France when it became clear that Contador wasn’t able to beat Chris Froome. He eventually finished fourth, one place ahead of Kreuziger.

Tinkov said afterwards that he would walk away at the end of the year but over time that position has changed. He engaged in talks with several teams, including Saxo Tinkoff, but while La Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this month that he had reached an agreement to buy it from Riis, his spokesman Stefano Feltrin said the news was premature.

Irish champion Matt Brammeier had been in talks with the team about a possible contract and while they fell through, he confirmed that intense negotiations were going on this month between Riis’ squad and Tinkoff.

Compatriot Nicolas Roche stated yesterday evening that the riders had not yet been told of the outcome of those talks, and that they had been asked to ‘wait and see’ what final decision would be reached.

VeloNation understands via a separate source that an agreement has now been made, and Tinkov will take over ownership from Riis.

The team has called a press conference which will be held at Google London on St. Giles High Street on Monday afternoon. Describing the conference as one with ‘important news about the future of the team,’ it has confirmed that Riis, Contador and Roche will be present.

Tinkov has not been mentioned in the announcement but VeloNation understands he will indeed be there. It remains to be seen if Google will be a new sponsor, as Dr.dk has suggested.

VeloNation will relay a live broadcast of Monday’s conference, courtesy of GCN.

The latter company is the result of a collaboration between Google and Shift Active Media, thus illustrating an existing link between the search engine giant and cycling. However the latter has said that the location for Monday’s conference does not indicate sponsorship of the team.

What seems clear, though, is that Tinkov's involvement in the Saxo squad appears to be moving to a more significant level.

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