Oleg Tinkov has said he’ll stop sponsorship of the Tinkoff team and sell the squad at the end of 2016. There’s no surprise, Tinkov has openly said it was a possibility, once telling La Gazzetta Dello Sport that he saw his team as a “toy” which he could get bored with. He’ll go with a wake of headlines but could there be others?

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Oleg Tinkov’s Dream Team Nightmare

Oleg Tinkov Bjarne Riis

Tinkoff-Saxo team manager Bjarne Riis has been suspended by Oleg Tinkov. It’s hard to see the Dane coming back from this, in fact he’ll probably be delighted to pedal off into the sunset, his panniers loaded with Euros. Yet it’s far more than a clash between two men, this is the story of the whole team, Alberto Contador included, and there are lessons for the sport as a whole.

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Tinkov Takes Over

Do you have some favourite jeans? For Oleg Tinkov it might be the ones he bought in a market stall in Uzbekistan during the 1980s.

The Russian entrepreneur is set to take over the Saxo-Bank team. The squad rose up from modest beginnings to become the sport’s top squad before fading back in recent years, in part because of a lack of sponsorship money. Tinkov came on board in 2012 as a co-sponsor but seemed to change his mind last summer as he watched Alberto Contador ride to fourth place, live-tweeting his frustration with often personal messages. Now he’s going to buy the team.

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Sunday Shorts

Tropicale Amissa Bongo

AICAR test in place – Dutch doping amnesty – Steven de Jongh passes go – Europcar to quit? – Big teams for Bongo – Grand Tours and breakaway cities – ASO vs RCS

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2013 World Tour Rider Age and Nationality

Jens Voigt

There are 507 riders from 43 nations registered with the 18 UCI World Tour teams for 2013.

The average age of a rider is 28 years and 2 months. The oldest rider is the 41 year-old Jens Voigt (Radioshack) whilst Vacansoleil-DCM’s Danny Van Poppel is the youngest pro aged 19.

Here’s a look at the 2013 peloton in numbers. There’s a look at rider age, the “oldest team” and also analysis of how many pros come from each country and more.

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Oleg Tinkov Returns

The Saxo Bank team unveiled a new co-sponsor today: Tinkoff Bank. The team will now be called Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank, a mouthful that will be awkward to pronounce and type.

It marks the return of Oleg Tinkov to the sport. A Russian entrepreneur, he is a lively character with a past unlike almost anyone else in the sport.

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Contador Signs For Saxo Bank

It’s official, Alberto Contador has signed a three and half year contract to ride for Saxo Bank. He will rejoin the Danish team in August and ride for them until the end of 2015.

Contador is like a corner piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Once he is in place with Saxo Bank other riders in the market can now be placed with different teams.

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UCI lets Saxo Bank keep Pro Team licence

Eight weeks ago the UCI announced it would ask its Licence Commission to review the status of Team Saxo Bank’s UCI ProTeam licence, its spot amongst the top-18 teams with automatic entry into the biggest races. Today we learn from the UCI that the team will keep its licence. Here’s a quick recap of the issues and also why Saxo Bank’s trouble’s aren’t over yet.

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UCI to rule on Team Saxo Bank’s future

Can UCI throw team out of World Tour races? Is this a collective punishment?

The PCC took note that further to the CAS decision earlier this week concerning Alberto Contador, the UCI will today ask its Licence Commission to issue a ruling on whether the Saxo Bank-Sungard team should retain its place in the UCI WorldTour. If the points obtained by Alberto Contador, representing approximately 68% of the Saxo Bank-Sungard team’s total points, are disregarded, his team would no longer be considered to fulfil the sporting criterion required for the UCI WorldTour.

That’s the UCI in a press release today. They got the team’s name wrong, it is Saxo Bank only but that is the least of Bjarne Riis’s worries right now as the future of his cycling team is at stake. Alberto Contador has been banned, he loses the 2010 Tour de France and all results from January 2011 onwards but on top of this he forfeits the points and prizes too.

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