When you see Oleg Tinkov’s name attached to any quote, you immediately turn on the bullshit detector, the nonsense gauge and the farce meter.
The Russian millionaire tycoon and Tinkoff-Saxo team owner works the news the way the old school Russian propaganda machine did. It’s an almost fact-free, truth-devoid experience. He says one thing, then says the opposite a day later. It’s all just tactical noise and audience manipulation.
Today he threw out a statement he knew would guarantee media attention and really, that’s his only goal. He’s like a desperate Hollywood actor who can’t bear to see himself out of the news for more than a few days.
So there he was claiming this could be Alberto Contador’s last season. A silly statement but the kind Oleg likes to make. Imagine Sky’s David Brailsford spreading that news that Chris Froome would retire after this year.
Tinkov threw that little media grenade and then, mission accomplished, began backtracking, because, really, it was all just a joke anyway. “If he wants to continue then we’ll be more than happy to have him with our team but I don’t know if he’s decided to continue. We’ve not discussed it yet. This might be his last season, I don’t know. It could be,” said Oleg Tall Tale Tinkov.
He did much the same a month or so ago, stating that the Russian economy was in dire straits. That was his story then and today it’s that the Russians won’t suffer like the West would love to have them suffer, economy will be just fine. Haha — jokes on us again — look how many followers I have on twitter!
Next week, Tinkov will say he’s disappointed with Peter Sagan and then the week after he’ll claim that Sagan will win 12 classics. That’s just the Oleg Show. He’s like a character in his own little reality show, bouncing from episode to episode, embellishing, preening, clowning, poking the media with a sharp stick. He’s the madcap Russian, the kooky tycoon, the media whore from Moscow.
Which reminds us of other silly, headline-generating nonsense he’s churned out. He floated the story that Sky was afraid of Tinkoff-Saxo and then later it was no, they’re not afraid. Whatever it takes to get a headline, whatever tweet it takes to get a attention.
We miss the days when Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters was front and center. He was funny and smart and while his outfits sometimes bordered on silly, he was never a manipulative clown like Tinkov.