Alberto Contador: Riis departure has not affected me at all

Tinkoff-Saxo leader Alberto Contador insists Oleg Tinkov made the decision to sever ties with Bjarne Riis in the best interest of the team

Alberto Contador and Bjarne Riis on stage six of the 2014 Tour of Catalonia (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Alberto Contador insists Bjarne Riis’s departure from Tinkoff-Saxo has not affected him at all, admitting he supports owner Oleg Tinkov’s decisions.

The Spaniard, who will start his Giro d’Italia/Tour de France double on Saturday, says the change in management even suits him better now that his everyday coach, Steven De Jongh, is in charge of the team.

Tinkov and Riis came to a mutual agreement to part ways in March after a reported falling out at Tirreno-Adriatico, but Contador believes the Russian is acting in the best interest of the team.

“It’s not affected me at all,” Contador told Spanish newspaper AS. “In addition, the person responsible is now De Jongh, who is also my coach and we speak every day.

“Oleg Tinkov can be one way or another, but in business he is a pretty intelligent person. And if you believe that we must dispense with Bjarne, it is because he believes that things can be made better.

“And I support him, because Oleg is the first interested in that the team works well.”

Contador will have a strong team to support him at the Giro, with Roman Kreuziger and Ivan Basso his main allies in the mountains. The race rolls out of San Lorenzo on May 9 with a 17.6km team time trial.

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