Tinkoff want new title sponsor by end of Giro
Tinkoff-Saxo is currently owned by Russian Oleg Tinkov, but he will not be involved with the team from next season. He has invested heavily in the team as he brought Peter Sagan on a four million Euros per year contract. Along with the current team owner, Alberto Contador will also end his contract at the end of the year.
As a result, Tinkoff-Saxo has to secure a money-bringing sponsor and they have set their goal to be the end of Giro d`Italia 2016.
The general manager, Stefano Feltrin, has been part of the team since Oleg Tinkov has returned to the sport and is now leading the search for a new title sponsor. He had his say on the matter:
“We’re working on securing a title sponsor for 2017 and beyond. If we succeed we’ll make an announcement. It’s public news that Tinkoff Bank are ending their project at the end of the year, so there’s no other alternative than for us to find a new sponsor. The realistic deadline is the end of the season but the end of the Giro d’Italia is the first turning point. Then we’ll see where we are at and we’ll talk to everyone in the team then and then everyone will state their opinion on what they will do. By then we’d like to have everything in place.” said Feltrin.
Bjarne Riss, the team`s previous owner, is one of the rumored names on the matter. However, it seems more likely for him to be part of the new Bahrain-sponsored team which looks to have Nibali as their leader from next year. Nonetheless, Stefano Feltrin is not ruling out any option for next years` sponsor:
“In this world everything is possible. Oleg Tinkov has clearly said that he’s selling the team so if someone comes with enough funds… there’s no ban on any specific people. Anything is possible. The goal is to fully find a title sponsor and we’re fully focused on securing one for next year.”
In the end, Feltrin has to finalize a budget for next season which will keep the team running at World Tour level. That means keeping hold of the big riders like Peter Sagan while maybe bringing in some new faces.