Russian Oleg Tinkov has finalized a buy out of Riis Cycling A/S. Oleg Tinkov now is therefore the sole owner of Riis Cycling, the company behind the professional cycling team, which name has been changed to Tinkoff Sport A/S.
Tinkoff Credit Systems, the only Russian bank specializing in credit cards, has agreed to be the main title sponsor of the team in the coming three years. Saxo Bank, the trading and investment specialist, has agreed to continue its sponsorship of the team in 2014 as a second name sponsor. So in 2014 the team name will be “Tinkoff-Saxo.” Tinkoff Sport’s CEO will be Stefano Feltrin, and Bjarne Riis has agreed on a three year deal to become the team manager.
“After our recent negotiations, Bjarne and I have reached an agreement for a buy out of Riis Cycling with immediate effect, and we have the full support of Saxo Bank,” said Tinkoff. “With this agreement I believe Tinkoff Sport have secured the best possible foundation and setup to reach our goal of becoming the greatest cycling team in the world over the course of the coming three years. This is going to be a big investment for Tinkoff Sport, but I have no doubt it will be great value for money.”
In a joint statement, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, co-CEO and co-founders of Saxo Bank stated. “At Saxo Bank, we are pleased that Oleg Tinkov and Bjarne Riis have agreed terms regarding the sale of the team. Even though this means that Saxo Bank will be the second name sponsor in 2014, we believe the added economic strength and stability for the team will be an overall benefit and actually support our own sponsorship. The team has never had more resources available, and Bjarne can now focus entirely on achieving his long term goal, to create the world’s best cycling team. This is an ambition we all share, and we are looking forward to working with Oleg and Bjarne to ensure that it is fulfilled.”
“After careful consideration, I have decided to sell Riis Cycling as I believe this is the right thing to do for both the team and for me on a personal level,” said Riis. “With this deal the long-term stability of the team is secured, and the team now has the funding and foundation to continue to be a major player on the World Tour and to further raise our ambitions. Secondly I can focus on running the team’s sporting department, giving much more attention to the actual racing itself and the training of our riders. I believe that today we have created a fantastic setup that enables us in the most optimal way to fulfill our ambitions in the future.”