Oleg Tinkov, sponsor of team Tinkoff, used an Instagram photo of himself next to his private jet to criticise the way pro cycling is funded. Russian Tinkov, posted the rant this morning to justify his decision to pull out of the team after ploughing millions of Euros into professional cycling since 2006. His wallet has made Tinkoff one of the most powerful teams in the peloton and employs superstars, Alberto Contador and world champion Peter Sagan.
Instead the multi-millionaire businessman suggests that the Amaury Sports Organisation sells TV rights to pay per view channels and uses that income to finance a stripped down elite of 12 to 14 teams (about 150 riders per race) that will concentrate only on the grand tours and monuments.The "impotent" UCI would then develop juniors and the less prestigious races as a training ground for riders to enter this 'premier league'. Star riders too face a pay cut: "Salary cap for the team is a must!" Tinkov's involvement is certain to be missed in 2017!