There seems to be a new team on the horizon. The team is backed by Russian business man Oleg Tinkov. The team, Tinkoff Credit Systems is looking to form a team that would initially fall out of the ProTour but would look for wild card invitations to as many races as possible.
USAToday, among other media outlets, are reporting a keen interest by the team in some of cycling’s top talent that have found their way to the scratch and dent rack. One of those cyclists is Tyler Hamilton. According to team manager, Omar Piscina:
“We spoke with his agent and we’ve made a proposal. His agent said he’s been training these two years and is in form. He’s 35, so he’s still got another couple of good years.”
Another rider getting a second look is Jan Ullrich. One note of caution. CyclingNews reports that Oleg Tinkov made his fortune in beer and restaurants. This could present an issue to the caloric-challenged Ullrich.
I take Tinkov at his word that he feels that Hamilton deserves a second chance and that Ullrich still has a lot of upside. I’m sure that he also notes that he will most likely get a significant discount than the normal asking rate for athletes of their skill level and palamares.
I’m also sure that being that successful at age 37 means he understands that part of that discount is due to the continuing risk with these two riders. It should be interesting. Especially if Oleg is factoring in some expenses required to gain entrance to some races if there is resistance from other parties?