Cycling Team Saxo-Tinkoff To Conclude Sponsorship With Russian Bank Tinkoff
Riis Cycling said in a statement on Thursday that cycling team Saxo-Tinkoff Owner Bjarne Riis has "ended negotiations to extend a sponsorship deal with Russia's Tinkoff Bank," according to Philip O'Connor of REUTERS. Riis's team finished the 2013 Tour de France at the top of the team classification, but Riis said that "finding common ground to renew the sponsorship deal with Tinkoff had proved impossible." Riis said, "During the course of our extensive negotiations with Tinkoff Bank it has become clear that we are unable to settle on common views and the ideas that are necessary for our partnership to grow and be successful. Most importantly, we disagree on how the team should be run. For all of these reasons, I have decided to explore other possibilities and end the negotiations with Tinkoff Bank" (REUTERS, 7/25). The EP reported Tinkoff Bank Owner Oleg Tinkoff was critical of Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador of Saxio-Tinkoff, who finished fourth. Tinkoff said on Twitter, "He is too rich and lacks hunger in my opinion. He has to work harder." Riis also thanked Tinkoff and wished the company luck. Riis: "I would like to thank Oleg Tinkoff personally and Tinkoff Bank for its contributions to the club. We hope to work with them for the rest of the season and wish them the best in the future" (EP, 7/25).