Dave Brailsford's search for a future sponsor for Team Sky reportedly had an immediate response with Oleg Tinkov one of the first to make an offer, according to AS.com. The Spanish media outlet has reported that Brailsford declined the offer, although when contacted by Cyclingnews, Tinkov called the story 'bullshit'.
According to AS, Tinkov offered around 20 million Euros as an annual budget, "but with conditions". Brailsford turned it down, alleging "an irreconcilable incompatibility on management and vision regarding business and sport."
In December, Sky announced that it would end its ten-year sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2019 season.
Tinkov has a long and colourful history with pro cycling. He sponsored the Italian Continental team Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2007 and 2008. In 2012 he became co-sponsor of the Saxo Bank team, ultimately buying the team license. He remained with the team until the end of 2016, at which point he strongly criticized the sport and the UCI.
The Russian was also known for his criticism of riders. He told Cyclingnews in 2016 that while he respected Alberto Contador as a rider, he did not like him as a person, and that "most of the riders don't like him." The Russian also said that the Spaniard was a 'rip-off'.
More famously, in 2015 he said that he wanted to cut Peter Sagan's salary, because of his lack of results. The Slovakian then went on to multiple wins, including three consecutive World Championship titles, with Tinkov giving himself credit for motivating Sagan.
Cyclingnews contacted Team Sky but did not receive an immediate response.
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