Video: Live broadcast of Team Saxo Tinkoff’s London press conference; will Tinkov take over ownership from Riis?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Video: Live broadcast of Team Saxo Tinkoff’s London press conference; will Tinkov take over ownership from Riis?

by Shane Stokes at 9:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Video
Press conference here live from 3pm GMT

Team Saxo TinkoffWhat is expected to be a very significant moment in the history of the Saxo Tinkoff team is set to take place this afternoon in London, with what the team describes as ‘important news’ being disclosed at 3pm GMT.

The announcement has been predicted as being news about the transfer of team ownership from Bjarne Riis to the Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, who has been secondary sponsor to the squad since mid-2012.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the arrangement will see Riis paid six million euros to hand over ownership of the squad to the Russian, some thirteen years after he acquired control of it. He is tipped to stay on board as general manager, earning a million euro per year, while Tinkov is predicted to be putting in between eleven and thirteen million per season.

It is not clear at this point if Saxo Bank will remain on board, but that – and the veracity of the predicted details - will become clear once the live broadcast starts.

If the changeover occurs, it should in theory bring to an end the financial pressures that Riis has faced in recent years. He spent much of his time trying to find enough backing to try to take a second Tour de France title, having won the race with Carlos Sastre in 2008.

He and others hope that Alberto Contador can bounce back in 2014, successfully taking on defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) and others and take victory in Paris.

Watch the press conference here from 3 pm London time:

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 last month that he had reached an agreement to buy it from Riis, his spokesman Stefano Feltrin said the news was premature.

However things appear to have moved on and this afternoon could see him assume a much more significant role with the squad.

The press conference will stream in the window above, courtesy of GCN. VeloNation will have more on this story afterwards, including reaction from Contador, Nicolas Roche, Riis and Tinkov.


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