Skip to main content

Tinkov wants to re-build Saxo Bank to become just like Sky

Image 1 of 5

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Nissan) on the podium

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Nissan) on the podium (Image credit: AFP)
Image 2 of 5

Mark Cavendish (Sky)

Mark Cavendish (Sky) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 5

Oleg Tinkov had his own champagne to celebrate with.

Oleg Tinkov had his own champagne to celebrate with. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 4 of 5

Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar Team)

Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar Team) (Image credit: Susanne Goetze /
Image 5 of 5

Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) on the attack.

Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) on the attack. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Oleg Tinkov, whose bank is now a co-sponsor of Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank outfit says that he envisages the team becoming a cycling super power in the mould of Sky.

Tinkov, speaking to Danish media at the Tour de France, explained that he was keeping an eye out for suitable recruits.

"I like Cancellara, and of the sprinters, I like Mark Cavendish. That does not mean that we will try to buy them because they are under contract with other teams. But maybe we will in the future," he told

"Now we are building a team around Contador, I can understand, and then we will look at the possibilities, for example, if a team collapses," he continued.

Earlier this week, Riis rejected claims in the Swiss media that Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) will once again ride for the Danish team.

Cancellara abandoned the Tour de France last week ahead of the birth of his second child, while speculation as to the financial stability of his current team continues to grow amid allegations of non-payment by holding company Leopard SA and unhappiness within the roster.

The Swiss powerhouse led an exodus from Saxo Bank to Leopard-Trek at the end of the 2010 season, leaving Riis unashamedly hurt. Cancellara reportedly apologised to Riis last September.

Cancellara's current contract expires at the end of next season.

Former Team Tinkoff riders Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar) and Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) are also believed to be of interest to Tinkov.