Oleg Tinkof, please go away. Take your supposed, likely inflated six million euros and go buy yourself a rich-man yacht to enter the America’s Cup. Find another sport to embarrass.
The Russian beer magnet has no place in cycling after reading what Tyler Hamilton had to say about Tinkof’s attitude toward doping. According the Hamilton, it was a cynical, wink-wink, do whatever is necessary to get results and don’t get caught. The co-author (with Daniel Coyle) of The Secret Race, wondered aloud what anybody in cycling would be doing with Tinkof.
However, the financial model for team sponsorship in pro cycling is so tenuous that pariah like Tinkof are still welcomed with open arms. Oleg, over here, in the fluorescent green on the American bike!
Even a team with a young superstar like Peter Sagan, winner of over 20 races this season, struggles to meet payroll and lacks enough budget to hire support riders for the Fastvakian. Oleg, how big do you want your name on the jersey?
If you’ve got money, there’s always a place for you in the sport. Team beggars can’t be chosers and even an irritating, egotistical and morally suspect guy like Tinkof is treated with just enough respect to ink a deal.
Dopers like Mikel Astarloza and Denis Menchov eventually retire, a corrupt hack like UCI president Patrick McQuaid is eventually voted out of office but guys like Tinkof remain because they have a few million euros in the bank.
Tinkof reminds Twisted Spoke of a low-budget Richard Branson, the CEO of the Virgin Group. Both are self-made men with brash personalities who love to pontificate.
Branson started his first business with a record store; Tinkof began with a electronics import business, then a convenience food company, followed by his beer empire. Like Branson, he supposedly has plans to create his own airline.
We’d like to see him fly as far away from professional cycling as possible