Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 27, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Matteo Trentin wins Wallonie stage 4; Kump gets first win of season on stage 9 of Tour of Qinghai Lake; IOC: ‘No presumption of innocence for Russian athletes’; Herstory: Female Olympic winners past to present – Part 2; Tinkoff team budget analysis; Wiggins picks Froome to win Rio time trial; Dumoulin back on the bike, hopeful for Rio; Froome to race Vuelta after Olympics; Cavendish on Rio: ‘This is about making every single pedal rev count’; Final Tour de France prize money list; Nairo Quintana time lapse video; Mini-team Sky celebrates

Tinkoff team budget analysis

by CyclingTips

After Team Sky released its 2015 budget earlier this month, one of the other major teams at the top end of the sport, Tinkoff, has published its annual report from 2015. The team’s budget increased by a whopping 50% due to the signing of world champion Peter Sagan, thanks to the heaps of sponsorship cash that comes with him from the likes of Specialized. And though the team is reportedly folding after this season, the effects of Sagan’s transfer across all of cycling are interesting.

Rumors suggest that Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) will ride for the German-based Bora-hansgrohe outfit next year, which will move up to the WorldTour level. Photo: BrakeThrough Media

The Inner Ring tries to break down the salient parts of the budget, but a host of shell companies within other shell companies, makes finding details difficult. Here is an excerpt:

Wage inflation has been a theme in cycling in recent times and just as Team Sky’s budget has grown by 10% a year on average the chart above shows an average increase of 16% per annum although obviously the story above is not one of gradual increases but lumpy changes. 2012 was when Oleg Tinkov first came onboard with his Tinkoff brand as a sponsor in the Tour de France and behind the scenes this allowed Bjarne Riis to recruit and retain using this money which flowed into the business for 2013. At the end of 2013 Tinkov bought the team outright.

The signing of Peter Sagan from Liquigas hasn’t just hit the Tinkoff budget, it raised the bar across the transfer market. Not only is Sagan victorious, charismatic and marketable, he was signed just at the time the Alonso team was interested in him so the price tension was considerable. It lead to plenty of other riders saying “if Sagan is worth €X million then I’m worth €Y million” and wage increases all around, for example Nacer Bouhanni is now a millionaire thanks to a contract inked while Tinkov and Alonso, although of course his stack of Giro stage wins counted for plenty in the first place.

Danish? Russian? In fact the team is a chain of legal entities. There’s Tinkoff Sport A/S as the Danish structure which owns PCD Luxembourg SARL, a Luxembourg registered entity. This is not explained but for some time several teams have had their legal entities in places like Luxembourg (Astana) or Switzerland (Katusha, Lampre) – all visible on the UCI website – and typically for tax reasons so the flag they fly under is not always the actual country they spend their money in.

Click through to read more at The Inner Ring.