French newspaper l’Equipe has reported that the Tinkoff-Saxo team has decided to shake up its training staff with Head Coach Bobby Julich and Head of Sports Science Daniel Healey losing their positions in the Russian team.
Both Julich and the Tinkoff-Saxo team refused to comment on the report in l’Equipe but Cyclingnews understands that Julich’s and Healey’s contracts will not continue beyond this season.
Tinkoff-Saxo won the Giro d’Italia with Alberto Contador and has taken a total of 26 victories so far this season. However, Peter Sagan struggled to be competitive in the spring Classics. He won the Tour of California and a fourth consecutive green points jersey at the Tour de France but did not win a stage. He finally ended his Grand Tour drought at the Vuelta a España but quit the race on Sunday after being hit by a race motorbike.
Last season team owner Oleg Tinkov sparked a revolution in the team’s coaching and sports staff after insisting that his staff needs to understand modern coaching and performance methodology. Philippe Mauduit and Fabrizio Guidi were dropped as directeurs sportifs and Sean Yates and Patxi Vila were hired. Yates worked with Team Sky before leaving the team for what he claimed were personal reasons when the British team introduced its zero-tolerance policy towards doping. Vila worked with Specialized in its Performance unit that advises its sponsored teams on equipment choices, time trial strategy, bike positioning and aerodynamics.
Julich was hired from BMC and was joined by Healey, who worked in nutrition in elite sports in New Zealand. Julich had an excellent relationship with former team owner Bjarne Riis, who was dismissed as team manger in the spring. Julich first worked with Riis as a rider at the CSC team in 2004 and then in a coach-directeur sportif role until 2010. He joined Team Sky in 2011 but left the British squad when their zero-tolerance policy came into force. Julich confessed to doping between 1996-1998, when he finished third in the Tour de France.
Tinkoff-Saxo has already announced it has sign Britain's Adam Blythe to support Sagan in 2016, with three new signings expected to be announced soon. Filippo Pozzato has been linked with the team for 2016 after falling out with the Lampre-Merida team.