Oleg Tinkov is ready to offer a €1 million to Alberto Contador and his Grand Tour rivals if they will compete in all three Grand Tours in 2015.
Tinkov launched his Grand Tour triple challenge at the Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan after Contador confirmed that he will target a Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double. Tinkov believes that the best Grand Tour riders in professional cycling should go head to head in the three Grand Tours. He first called on riders to ride all three Grand Tours via Twitter. Now he has backed his offer with a significant cash incentive.
"If Quintana, Froome, Nibali and Contador all agree to ride all three Grand Tours, I'll get Tinkoff Bank to put up €1 million. They can have €250,000 each as an extra incentive. I think it's a good idea," Tinkov told Cyclingnews.
"It's good that Alberto is going for the Giro-Tour double but I think the biggest and best riders should race against each other and ride all three Grand Tours."
The Giro route is good for us
Tinkov watched the Giro d'Italia presentation with Tinkoff-Saxo team managers Stefano Feltrin and Bjarne Riis and then spoke briefly to Contador, saying goodbye with a hug and an agreement to meet up during the winter.
Like Contador, Tinkov liked the 2015 Giro d'Italia route because the balanced nature of the race profile will make a Giro-Tour feasible.
"I think it's actually the easiest route we've seen for many years. I think it's a good Giro route for us and for Alberto because he wants to do the double," Tinkov said.
"If Alberto has the form he had this year, then I think he can do the double. If he has the form he had in 2013, then maybe not. But I hope he will have the same form."
"Some people didn't like it when I said I was convinced that Alberto would have won the Tour de France without his crash but I think he proved it would have true by the way he won the Vuelta. He was only 75% on form and he suffered a cracked leg."
Tinkov only had one issue with the 2015 Giro route. There is no stage start in the Tuscan coastal resort of Forte dei Marmi, where he has a villa and likes to spend the summer riding in the nearby hills.
"Personally I'm disappointed that there's no stage start in Forte dei Marmi as expected," he said feigning disgust.
"I was hoping there'd be a stage with the Cipollaio and the San Pellegrino in Alpe climbs. Now I can't decide if I come to the start of the end of the Giro. Maybe I'll come to both because I love the Giro."