Oleg Tinkov: Alberto Contador is 'too old to win anything'

Former Tinkoff team owner Oleg Tinkov attacks Alberto Contador on social media, saying that he 'will never win anything'

Oleg Tinkov.
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Oleg Tinkov, former Tinkoff team owner, launched a vulgar attack on his former rider and Grand Tour star Alberto Contador. The Russian says that Contador, who nearly upset Sergio Henao (Sky) for the Paris-Nice win last week, "never will win anything."

Contador left team Tinkoff this winter when it folded. He joined American team Trek-Segafredo and planned out his season with the Tour de France as his number one goal.

Tinkov wrote in his Instagram account: "Contador is piece of Spanish s***, and never will win anything, [he’s] too old and too evil. Diet made him crazy and greedy??"

The 34-year-old Spaniard nearly upset Paris-Nice on the final stage last Sunday. He attacked from far out and came within two seconds of Henao's lead.

>>> Alberto Contador reveals how he plans to beat Chris Froome at the Tour de France

Contador has already won the Tour de France twice, the Giro d'Italia twice and the Vuelta a España three times. This year, he is aiming to take on Sky's Chris Froome in the Tour again after having to abandon due to crashes in 2016.

It was not Tinkov's first criticism of Contador, but it is perhaps the harshest. Tinkov attacked him after the 2013 season and in October last year, said that Contador "as a person, never appealed" to him and that he is a "sad person" who "never drinks Champagne."

Alberto Contador on the attack on the final stage of Paris-Nice 2017 (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Tinkov's attacks were not limited to Contador. In 2015, he said he was paying Peter Sagan too much. After taking over team Tinkoff from founder Bjarne Riis, he criticised him too.

Tinkov decided to close his team and left around 60 to 70 employees searching for work. Sagan signed for Bora-Hansgrohe and Contador for Trek-Segafredo.

>>> Alberto Contador: ‘Oleg Tinkov has a lot of money but didn’t know how to manage a team’

Contador is racing the Volta a Catalunya this week. When asked for a comment on Tinkov's statement, his press officer simply said "Nothing to say. This is a closed chapter for us."

Contador said in January: "He has been part of my career, which fortunately is finished.

"I have new challenges ahead now. I will not waste energy on him."

Tinkov’s comments were made under an Instagram post on Sunday complimenting Peter Sagan after he placed second in Milan-San Remo to Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).

It is unclear if Tinkov knew that Sagan lost the race.

“What a Champion @petosagan Peter Sagan ! He just won #MilanSanremo 300km race?????!” Tinkov wrote.

“The best modern cyclist won today the great race Milan-San Remo, glad that we were friends!!! Soon we will go skiing with him in La Datcha.”

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.