Outspoken Tinkoff-Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov has apologised to Chris Froome on Twitter after saying on Wednesday that the Tour de France winner should be ‘ashamed’ of his performance during stage 11 of the Vuelta a España.
The Russian businessman’s apology came after Froome announced his withdrawal from the Vuelta due to fracturing a bone in his foot as a result of a crash near the start of the stage.
“Sorry Chris @chrisfroome for my tweets about your ride y-day, sure i didn’t know you broken the foot. Good recovery and see you at TDF16 soon,” said Tinkov on Thursday morning.
Although Froome finished the stage, he was visibly struggling and lost over seven minutes to his overall rivals, leading Tinkov to tweet during the race:
“Hope now critics of @albertocontador will shut up. @chrisfroome just showed what it means to do 2 Grand Tour consecutively and Alberto hasn’t be so ashamed as Chris today, Alberto has been fighting till Paris. This guy is gone. Shame on you @SkyProCycling.”
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Contador had won the Giro d’Italia in May and attempted the Giro-Tour double, but faded during the Tour in July as Froome took the victory.
Tinkov’s Twitter ire was also directed at Vuelta organiser Unipublic during Wednesday’s stage as a second rider from the Tinkoff team was forced to withdraw as a direct result of injury caused by a collision with a race motorcycle.
Tinkov suggested that his team should withdraw from the race in protest, but on Thursday morning before the start of stage 12 it was still unclear whether the squad would follow the suggestion.