The fact that at least two financial institutions known by IFAs sponsor a major world-ranking cycling team gives us chance to talk about the Tour de France which is currently winding its way around northern France, after having been in The Netherlands and Belgium.
Team Tinkoff-Saxo is sponsored by Tinkoff Bank and Saxo Bank and boasts amongst their riders tour contender Alberto Cantador and the versatile Peter Sagan. They, like most of the other riders yesterday, were happy to survive the seven dreaded cobbled sections which made up the fourth stage.
Sky’s team leader Chris Froome might have given up the yellow jersey to Tony Martin who won the stage with a superb last-minute breakaway, but the British champion is sitting pretty and waiting for the Pyrenees.
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Contador said of yesterday’s trial by strength: “I’m very satisfied with today because my sensations were very good. I also congratulate the team for their effort because they worked very well today including Peter Sagan, who did some excellent work for me. So I wish to thank them a lot. The objective today was to pass the day without problems and the only problem I had during the race was with my rear wheel in the last 25 kilometres. As we entered the last three kilometres I thought about the possibility of changing my bike but I decided to continue and fortunately I could. It would have been very risky to change bike in the last kilometres.”
Sagan said: “I am in the team with Alberto and that is important to understand. I did my very best to help him and make sure that I did my part in keeping him in the first group. Then I was almost dropped from the first group after I had closed a gap but I was able to recover a bit for the final sprint. But I didn’t expect that I could finish 3rd, as I had spent a lot of energy. I’m very happy with the result today, as I spent much energy and I’m glad that Alberto got through the stage in a nice way – this is the most important.
“No matter how hard the stage is, we all work for Alberto and if we can do something for him in the GC then I’m satisfied with the outcome. It’s difficult to both win stages and help Alberto, which is my main focus. We will see if I can take a stage win in one of the flat stage in the next days, but it’s very dangerous and it’s a bit like lottery. Maybe you win but you can also crash, so I have to be really careful.”
Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh was also is buoyant mood:
“I think that the performance of the guys speaks for itself. I’m very satisfied and I think they showed excellent teamwork. All the boys up there in the finale did an excellent effort, especially Sagan and Bennati were very important, as their job was to stay close to Alberto throughout the stage no matter what. Alberto had a problem with his rear wheel, it was something that we followed closely but he was able to finish without having to change bike.
“Alberto is very happy with today and there was a very relieved atmosphere in the bus. It was very important to have Sagan’s experience today and he was very attentive in some crucial situations but we also have to mention Bennati, who never left Alberto out of sight. I think we can be satisfied with the first four days. I see a team that works and operates well. We will see how the next day’s unfold but it’s obvious that the sprinters will try to get the most out of them.”
Tinkoff-Saxo is owned by Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov and is a UCI WorldTour pro cycling racing team.
In case you’d forgotten, Tinkoff Bank is an online retail financial services operating in Russia via a high-tech branchless platform. It was founded in 2006 by a Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov to service clients in the Russian financial services market and now also handles retail deposits.
An online trading and investment specialist, Saxo Bank offers private investors and institutional clients a set of tools for their trading and investment strategies. It was established in 1992 and has its HQ in Copenhagen.
More from the guys later.