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Banking on Russians

By:
Antonio J. Salmerón
Published:
June 22, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:04 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News for June 22, 2007
Oleg Tinkov at the Giro

Oleg Tinkov at the Giro

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Tinkoff Credit Systems was the most attacking team of this year's Giro d'Italia and fans were...

Tinkoff Credit Systems was the most attacking team of this year's Giro d'Italia and fans were thrilled to seeing its yellow-kitted riders lighting up the race. Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown caught up with team owner Oleg Tinkov after the dust had settled from the three-week race to reflect on the events and talk about the future.

One team of young, inexperienced riders enlivened the first week of the Giro d'Italia with relentless attacks. They were clad in yellow and black, and were present in every significant breakaway until stage ten. The Tinkoff Credit Systems team was so aggressive that many fans wondered if any of the riders would make it to the finish of the tour in Milan. With the majority of the team riding their first Grand Tour, even team owner Oleg Tinkov questioned the logic of expending so much energy so early.

"I was not behind the riders attacking every day," declared the 39 year-old Oleg Tinkov from his office in Moscow, Russia. He had just ended a phone call with someone from Forbes magazine and was more than happy to talk about cycling - putting his business matters, like starting a new banking company, aside. "I never said for those riders to go up the road like that. Along with [directeur sportif] Dimitri Konyshev, I told those guys to stop. 'Mikhail, please don't do it!

"We talked to Brutt too," added Tinkov. "We knew it was a three-week race and we were afraid that either Brutt or Ignatiev would not make it to Milan. Honestly, they attacked too much. I know they want to do it for me - they want to try to pay back the team and me, for my money invested."

Read the full interview with Oleg Tinkov.

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