Tour de France Team Sky's dominance threatening to "kill" cycling, says Oleg Tinkov

Team Sky's dominance at the Tour de France threatens to "kill" cycling in the future, says Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov.

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Team Sky's dominance threatening to "kill" cycling, says Oleg Tinkov

(Omni Sports)
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Oleg Tinkov has praised Team Sky after winning their third Tour de France in four years but has suggested the British-based team's dominance could "kill" cycling.

Chris Froome made history as the first British cyclist to win the Tour on two occasions when he crossed the finish line on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday, his two titles coming after Bradley Wiggins' win in 2012.

While Team Sky did not dominate the list of stage winners in 2015, their control within the peloton was so strong that Froome was able to finish with an advantage of one minute and 12 seconds over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the general classification.

"I'm not afraid to say that Team Sky deserved to win the Tour with the Froominator, that's clear to see and we can only say 'chapeau' as they say in France," the Tinkoff-Saxo owner wrote in a blog for Cyclingnews.

"However I've got to point out that their strength might not be good for the sport.

"If I could tell you who they are about to sign for 2016, you'd realise that they're going to kill the business.

"Their strength is not actually the money, as other people have said. We have similar budgets; we spend 27 million Euro, while they have about 33 million Euro.

"The fundamental difference between Team Sky and other teams is that they have a long-term project. They've got a minimum of a five-year plan, if not even ten years thanks to a commitment from [Rupert] Murdoch's empire.

"He's investing in new riders but also looking for new technology that will help his team.

"Most teams, including us, live almost year to year. When you have a short-term project, you don't invest for the future, you don't invest in young rider who might not win for a few years.

"It's all about survival. It would be the same in the business world. There's no chance for a team with a one-year plan to fight against another that can plan for five or ten years ahead.

"The only thing that will stop Team Sky dominating the sport for years to come is if we change the business model of the sport and that's what I'm trying to do. We need more income for the teams."

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