A few years ago business tycoon and Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov offered Froome, Nibali and Quintana one million if they would ride all three grand tours.
Nobody took the bait but that hasn’t stopped the entrepreneur from coming up with a new challenge. After his star rider Peter Sagan showed up at the season-opening Tour de San Luis with hairy, unshaved legs, the owner has again stepped forward with a novel presentation.
Tinkov is prepared to pay Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep), Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafreddo) and John Degenkolg (Giant) €1 million if they ride all five Monuments with hairy legs.
“If they all agree to ride all the monuments without shaving their legs, I’ll get Tinkoff Bank to put up €1 million. They can have €250,000 each as an extra incentive. I think it’s a good idea,” said Tinkov.
After the media buzz around Sagan’s hairy legs, Tinkov decided it was an idea worth pursuing. “I think the biggest and best and hairiest riders should race against each other and skip shaving their legs,” said Tinkov.
In fact, Tinkov also wanted the riders to grow the hair on their heads as long as Sagan’s but then realized Boonen was no longer capable of such a hairstyle. However, that hasn’t deterred Tinkov from trying to bring more entertainment and spectacle to cycling.
“This is a big idea, I think. Hairy legs are cool and who can argue Peter looks fantastic. If Spartacus is a real warrior, he’s throw away his razor. The same goes for Boonen. I think all these guys should bring some new excitement to the show,” said Tinkov.
So far there has been no response from Boonen, Cancellara or Degenkob. However at least one source at Katusha claims that Kristoff may be game. “Oh yeah, €250,000 just for not shaving? Kristoff is happy to take that to the bank,” said Vladimir Jokin, who handles PR for the WorldTour squad. “That’s easy money.”