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In a recent interview with ITV at the Tour de France, Oleg Tinkov has said his star rider Peter Sagan has already signed with Bora-Argon 18 for next season. The Russian proprietor of Tinkoff will fold his WorldTour team at the end of the cu...

Photo: Sirotti






22.07.2016 @ 07:48 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

"I believe he [Sagan] is the best cyclist now in the peloton … It makes my decision [to close the team] even harder, but I think Peter is good," Tinkov said in the interview.


"I understand he signed with Bora [Bora-Argon 18] … I will gladly follow Peter on TV, or over the net, and if I come sometime to the race when Peter comes out of the Bora bus, he will not hesitate to take a photo with me."


Tinkov also remarked that according to his information Sagan will earn a higher salary than his early €5 million salary at Tinkoff.


"According to my information Bora paid him even more … I mean that's the market. I know for definite he got more. I'm not going to disclose the number, I know even the number. But he signed for much more money than I paid him. That's a fact."


The first reports that Sagan and Bora-Argon 18 had come to an agreement began to surface at the beginning of July. However, the team moved quickly to deny any such speculation, saying that the world champion’s salary was beyond their financial capacity.


If Oleg Tinkov is to be believed, that no longer seems to be the case.


In the past, Tinkov has often been critical of Sagan, claiming that his amounts of wins did not reflect his high pay. Last year, it was even reported that Tinkov had started to look into reducing Sagan's earnings because of a poor spring campaign. Subsequently, Sagan won the overall title at the Tour of California, a stage at the Tour de Suisse, the green jersey at the Tour de France, a stage at the Vuelta a España and the world title. Then Tinkov put his plans of a pay reduction on ice. In the interview, the Russian defended his strategy and his public criticism of Sagan at the time.


"After my criticism last year, he started winning straight away," Tinkov said in the interview. "He won TOC and then he was very good at the Tour in green. He won some other races and then he became the world champion. Then there’s no problem. It’s as simple as that. We’re in an expensive business. You write a check for €5 million and you have a contract or three years and then you realise he’s not won… what can do you because you still have to pay the contract. You don't have any other tools other than to voice your opinion and criticise him. I think that I deserve that with how much money I’m paying him. I still think that his results after are based off my criticism. After I criticized him, he immediately won TOC and since then we’ve not had any issues."



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