By Susan Westemeyer
Team owner Oleg Tinkov doesn't want him on the team, but Jörg Jaksche is still riding for Tinkoff Credit Systems and plans to contest the Österreich Rundfahrt starting July 9. "That is my next big goal," he told the dpa press agency. Jaksche said that he assumed he would fulfill his contract with the team, which runs through the end of the year.
Tinkov made headlines when he signed Jaksche, Tyler Hamilton and Danilo Hondo to his Professional Continental team this year, saying they all deserved a second chance. However, the Russian has had a change of heart, telling Cyclingnews last week: "I don't want to see Hondo, Jaksche and Tyler anymore in my team. That is it."
Hamilton and Jaksche were removed from Tinkoff's Giro d'Italia squad at the last minute. While Hamilton has not since raced, Jaksche has appeared in several races since then, winning the Circuit de Lorraine and most recently finishing second in the Euskal Bizikleta.
"It is a management decision," explained Tinkov. "I don't want to see Hamilton, Jaksche, [Danilo] Hondo, or any guys with doping issues mentioned next to my name. However, the management sometimes does its own stuff. I was surprised to see Jaksche racing. According to the UCI contract we can't fire him."
Jaksche, a German who lives in Kitzbühel, Austria, says he will not join the ranks of riders who have confessed to being involved in the Telekom 1990s doping scandal or Operación Puerto, in which his name had arisen. "I have nothing to confess," he said.