Oleg Tinkov demanding better results from Riis and Tinkoff squad

Tinkoff-Saxo have just two wins so far in 2015, which is not good enough for owner Oleg Tinkov, who told manager Bjarne Riis exactly how he feels

No love was lost between Oleg Tinkov (right) and Bjarne Riis during their row at Tirreno-Adriatico (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov has piled the pressure on team manager Bjarne Riis following the team’s somewhat lacklustre start to the season.

According to French newspaper L’Équipe, Tinkov and Riis had a public row during Tirreno-Adriatico, where the squad picked up just their second win of the season through Peter Sagan.

When the row occurred, however, Alberto Contador’s solo win at the Vuelta a Andalucia was their sole victory, and the Russian was reportedly angered by his team leaders’ performances in both Tirreno and Paris-Nice.

“A big talent must always remain under pressure, whether it comes from God or they apply it themselves,” Tinkov told L’Équipe. “And when you’ve got a contract that amounts to several millions that’s even more the case.

“I put myself under pressure every day. These are athletes and directeurs sportifs, they’re not the Princess with the pea.”

Contador finished fifth at Tirreno, 39 seconds behind winner and Tour de France rival Nairo Quintana, while team leader Rafal Majka finished a full 40 minutes behind Richie Porte at Paris-Nice.

Tinkov will hope his big money signing Peter Sagan can continue his winning ways at Milan-San Remo this weekend, although the Slovak knows a win in the Italian Classic is far from straightforward.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.