Pressure to win and doping: Tinkoff and Sagan

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Apr 7, 2015
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Tinkov is just exposing how every team in cycling works. He is playing the game like everybody else - only with less of the bullshiting. It is the Eastern European way as opposed to the Western European one and in the end the differences are just cosmetic. But, of course, us Western Europeans like our cosmetics to cover up the truth.
 
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Dear Wiggo said:
Sagan's YTD CQ Ranking points comparison:

20/5/2012: 912
19/5/2013: 1302
18/5/2014: 861
17/5/2015: 873

I'd say he's doing as well as last year.
I'd say he's going to be really good this year. His overall stature looks tighter than last year, obviously he's decided something earlier no matter this Tinkoffs pressuretalk. Green Jersey perhaps again w/ Hushovd stylee over the hills and far away? Testing his legs in Mt. Baldy for this? Chunky mean MF he is still, but is he getting leaner/thinner or do I see just so wrong?
 
SecretPro from february on Olga

Tinkoff-Saxo is a team that I think we’ll see some fireworks from this year, and I don’t mean just in racing. Oleg is a man who puts fear into his riders and I’m sure it’s not ‘respect’ that the riders are feeling towards him. It’s definitely fear. From what I hear he’s a man who likes to shout and scream at the team when they screw up or don’t perform to the high level he expects. I don’t think he gets that races sometimes don’t go as planned.

He’s a guy that seems on the surface to love supporting a team but I wouldn’t put it past him if he’d just pull the plug on the team one day if they weren’t doing as he had anticipated. But saying that, his Twitter account is well worth following as it makes for some crazy reading.
http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/02/the-secret-pro-let-the-season-begin/
 
Oct 16, 2010
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memyselfandI said:
Dear Wiggo said:
Sagan's YTD CQ Ranking points comparison:

20/5/2012: 912
19/5/2013: 1302
18/5/2014: 861
17/5/2015: 873

I'd say he's doing as well as last year.
I'd say he's going to be really good this year. His overall stature looks tighter than last year, obviously he's decided something earlier no matter this Tinkoffs pressuretalk. Green Jersey perhaps again w/ Hushovd stylee over the hills and far away? Testing his legs in Mt. Baldy for this? Chunky mean MF he is still, but is he getting leaner/thinner or do I see just so wrong?
indeed there's a chance that at the end of the season we have to say "well played, Oleg, well played".
however, if you hear fortyninefourteen's anecdote in the Bjarne Riis thread, we have to conclude Tinkoff really is a terrible peoples manager.
 
Mar 27, 2014
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For The World said:
robertmooreheadlane said:
They have held up their end of the bargain and built a team all about Sagan, and then he decides to take it easy and just earn his $12mln over three years, that is rather poor on Sagans side of the bargain.
The rest of your post leaves a lot to be desired, but that's just pure conjecture right there. You've no idea what Peter Sagan is actually doing away from racing (Twitter does not make one well informed). Extending your statement you could surmise then that Philippe Gilbert has been taking it easy since he switched to BMC, and Thor Hushovd took it easy when he switched from Cervelo.

Taking one part of a post and ignoring that it was a response to a question posed to someone else's post is rather disingenuous to say the least.
And actually it is not really my conjecture but more a supposition of the potential for why OT said what he did about Sagan.
Yes there are many reasons why a rider might not perform, and actually one of the apparent reasons BR was sacked was because of his deal making - so your point about Tinkoff signing the contract and getting on with it is mute as it was Riis that signed the contract with Sagan which Tinkoff is now questioning.
Maybe, and here is a wild speculation, but just maybe without Riis to guide the riders on the programs to be on or to provide them with the product maybe they are not able to perform as well without BR and maybe it is not Tinkoff that was fuelling the doping but BR and that is another reason OT got rid of him.

What if all you haters out there are hating a man who is trying to clean up your beloved sport. And you are all attacking him for it. He has done what the UCI and WADA could not do, got rid of a known cheater and proven doping DS out of the sport of cycling.

And everyone on here is shouting him down.

Maybe there is another side to the coin that you may not be able to fathom or contemplate. What if his riders had promised him they ride clean and now that BR is gone they can't perform because they are floundering on their doping programmes without BR to guide them.

Now wouldn't that have to be a kick in the teeth to all the OT haters.

What do Oleg Tinkoff and Travis Tygart have in common? they are the only people to be able to get rid of dopers from cycling in the current era.
 
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robertmooreheadlane said:
If you are an employee you are expected to do a job, if you don't do your job, in most areas of life you get a warning and then you get fired.
I get the feeling this is Sagan's warning from the boss.
That may be the practice, but it certainly isn't the best way to get the best work from your employees.

And that being said, you cannot treat elite athletes like employees. It just doesn't work. When the margins are so thin between winning and loosing, everything must be done to make sure the athlete is physically and mentally 100%.

I have never seen hard ass-ism get an athlete to their 100%. I've seen it take an athlete from 60% to 90%, sure, but that's that best case scenario is only when the athlete in question put themselves down there in the first place.

Tinkov is good for the sport like a non-fatal car crash is good for one's driving habits, making one a little more careful in the future. After all is said and done, the corrective action in response to Tinkov's strain will strengthen the sport.

And this hasn't been posted yet. I saw it linked through twitter:
https://pvcycling.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/sagan-notches-second-tour-of-california-stage-win-calls-team-boss-tinkov-a-complete-asswipe/

A lot of good gems
...

PS: Because he is. Oleg Tinkov is the pro rider’s worst nightmare.

CitSB: How so?

PS: Oh, come on. You know the type. Total wanker masters racer, buys the best stuff, wears the most expensive kit, shows up at the private training ride uninvited, and he’s off the back before the pace even picks up. Then, because he can’t keep up, he sponsors the local race club so he can be part of the team, hang out at the races, do the training rides. And everyone hates his *** guts.

...
 
Sep 29, 2012
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And Sagan is not an employee, he's a subcontractor. If he's signed a contract Oleg is going to be kinda SOL, basically.
 
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SeriousSam said:
So nothing should be done about this. It's the fundamental reason as to why athletes dope at all, inseparably linked to competition in sports.
I think you're wrong on this. Look a tennis, where someone like Andy Roddick probably got more press from losing Wimbledon than winning it. Or motor racing, where guys like Fernando Alonso and Valentino Rossi are major stars commanding major paydays even though they haven't been champions for many years. Cycling's obsession with winning above all is neck-and-neck with the physical demands of the sport as the main reason for the amount of cheating. It can be toned down.
I studied Engineering at a school where there was almost no cheating. It was a great school with great teachers and the best of us where often fighting for the A's. People would call you out for even glancing in their direction on a test. Very we people got Fs. I also did a summer at another (very well ranked) school with a lot of cheating. Professors were hardcore hard-asses who would test you on stuff they never lectured on just to show you your place. A lot of Fs, everyone was in an us against the teachers mentality.
The other point is then (Sam seems to grasp this but not everyone on this board) is that incentive structures do affect outcomes. Even after the fall of communism it beggars belief just how many people refuse to acknowledge something so elementary and universal.
Lyon said:
Tinkov is just exposing how every team in cycling works. He is playing the game like everybody else - only with less of the bullshiting. It is the Eastern European way as opposed to the Western European one and in the end the differences are just cosmetic. But, of course, us Western Europeans like our cosmetics to cover up the truth.
You should have a chat with my Russian friend Vladimir and my Belorussian mate Alexander one of these days. Absolutely no *** from those two. Anyway, getting people to at least pretend to care about the rules is a very important step in getting people to follow them. Getting even criminals to acknowledge and when possible go around the rules, even when often breaking them, is tremendously useful for society. You might never have been anywhere where this is not the case. In that case, you might want to try to experience it sometime - you may find the differences may not be quite as cosmetic as you're currently inclined to believe. To the point, "nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced."
 
As an employee at a software firm I don't expect my salary to be cut if I make a couple mistakes here and there. Oleg needs to re-learn the standard beginner's investment advice: Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results
 
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Lyon said:
Tinkov is just exposing how every team in cycling works. He is playing the game like everybody else - only with less of the bullshiting. It is the Eastern European way as opposed to the Western European one and in the end the differences are just cosmetic. But, of course, us Western Europeans like our cosmetics to cover up the truth.
The Eastern vs. Western point is sexy, we all like to imagine Oleg as the Russian mafia boss, but I think it has less to do with him being a Russian than him being a bully. He is a charisma-less Bernard Tapie, a bully with an inflated Ego. Tapie was the same with La Vie Claire and later with Marseille: a bully running his mouth with the journos.
 
Mar 9, 2013
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I come at this from a slightly different point. I live in NYC. I watched a Maniac Owner George Steinbrenner run the Yankees.

Most people thought he was jerk. Guess what? They WON!!!!!!

You don't become a Pro athlete if you cannot handle pressure. Some are just better at channeling that pressure into results. Did BR negotiate Sagan's contract? Was he a major player in how Sagan was trained/handled? I guess only BR & OT know that. OT will have to pay Sagan to his contract unless there is blatant disregard for his responsibility on Sagan's part.

IMHO. Sagan in California is a whole different ridder then we saw in the classics. He looks to me lean. In the classics he looked like a mini rugby player on a bike. Julich to me is a dam good trainer. And if TS is putting forward a top flight team. Saga should excel. In the USA we say he should live up to the back of his baseball card. Sagan should to.

Oleg has every right to call out his riders! He pays the Bills! IMHO he likes to stir the pot. And we all go nuts over what he says. I think he basks in that. Remember his words "The internet is for jokes and porn"
He hammered AC in 2013. Not Pro enough. What did AC do in 2014? What is he doing now? Sometimes in life you need a kick in the @55!
Sometimes a pat on the back!
Tinkoff is a Multi-Millionare because he knows when to do both.
 
Mar 27, 2014
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"Oleg has every right to call out his riders! He pays the Bills! IMHO he likes to stir the pot. And we all go nuts over what he says. I think he basks in that. Remember his words "The internet is for jokes and porn"
He hammered AC in 2013. Not Pro enough. What did AC do in 2014? What is he doing now? Sometimes in life you need a kick in the @55!
Sometimes a pat on the back!
Tinkoff is a Multi-Millionare because he knows when to do both."


I agree with what you say
I also think there is a little too much of the a couple of areas that dominate cycling which is being rubbed up the wrong way.

Cycling is "traditional" we don't like you loud people coming in and saying things we don't like
Cycling is all about the poor man on the bike suffering - we don't like you new age people coming in and trying to change things with technology etc.
Oh and your stinking rich and I am stinking green with envy because you get to live your dream and mine of running a pro cycling team.

There is a long line of stinking rich self made people who have defined sport and changed the way sport is played and run through the years.
OT is just another one of those and he has every right to do what he thinks is right with his team and his money.

If you don't like it do something about it, get your own team.
 
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robertmooreheadlane said:
OT is just another one of those and he has every right to do what he thinks is right with his team and his money.
Absolutely not.

This is the attitude that leaves lower-tier riders unpayed. This is the attitude that leaves many riders hurt, or many others with now career option but to dope.

Ignoring your idea that money buys the right to treat others like property, you're ignoring the fact that what OT thinks will change Sagan's physiology and psychology, will not in fact change his physiology and psychology.
 
Mar 27, 2014
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I am so sorry for your delusional thought processes,
I don't know you; so i am assuming you are a normal member of the public in which case you are statistically likely to have a job employed by someone else. You go to work when they say, you do what they tell you to do; and you work the hours they tell you to work, you go home when they say and you get paid what they say. And when they want to get rid of you for whatever reason they like; they will drop you onto the redundancy heap without a moments thought.

Tell me what about that situation is not being treated like property.

If you work for someone else and you accept their money you do what they say and when they say it and how they say it is to be done. It is the social contract that has kept the rich, rich and the rest compliant for many many years.

Now before you come back and argue your point and tell me you could quit at any time and if anyone treated you like property you could walk away. Ask yourself truly, could you. Does none of that scenario ring true at all. Could you do whatever you wanted with your time and whenever you wanted to do it with no reprisals.

Secondly how many other managers have their been who have used this type of tactic to get what they wanted out of athletes. ESPN had a list of greatest football managers and who was up there in the top
Alex Ferguson No1 (reknowned for his volatility)
Brian Clough (Renowned for his volatility)
Jock stein (Renowned for his volatility)
Vicente del Bosque (renowned for his volatility)
Giovanni Trappotoni (renowned for his volatility
So 5 of the top 20 all time football managers (a sport where team is really important) have been very volatile characters with a penchant for blowing up (sometimes very publicly) at their staff and players. 25% of the top managers on the planet in one of the oldest sports. But of course that is not how to succeed in team management because you say so........ Right

There are plenty of others in sports all around the world
There are different ways to motivate people
Some are motivated by a challenge
Some are motivated by money
Some are motivated by being part of something special
Some are motivated by fear
Some are motivated by wanting to achieve something to prove someone wrong.
Some are motivated by wanting to prove something to someone who isn't even there.

There are a number of these factors that OT could be trying to trigger in his attitude towards Sagan and unless you know Sagan personally I would say you are guessing that his method is incorrect as much as anyone else.

Sometimes getting into a fight with a staff member is necessary to ensure the smooth running of the team
and sometimes those fights need to be external so the team member has nowhere to hide and nowhere to go
 
Apr 3, 2011
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ebandit said:
surprise! tinkov is a tool.....................big shot businessman shoulda included performance clause in contract

but there again he thinks he's as good as riis in the car..............

Mark L
Olga admitted shamelessly in one interview that he cannot do any kind of business (it was not cycling related) as a collaboration, the only way he said,is: " I buy 100% of the business and give you orders".
 
robertmooreheadlane:
You and Oleg are examples of why unions exist. The notion of ownership you espouse died quite some time ago.
If Oleg got into cycling to exert absolute power without considering the human and sporting element (i.e. sometimes people lose), then he should not be running a team.
 
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the delgados said:
robertmooreheadlane:
You and Oleg are examples of why unions exist. The notion of ownership you espouse died quite some time ago.
If Oleg got into cycling to exert absolute power without considering the human and sporting element (i.e. sometimes people lose), then he should not be running a team.
I completely agree with you, yet, although it is unfortunate, some bosses are like Oleg. In all walks of life. And sometimes they achieve great successes. On several occasions, I have compared Oleg and Tapie. Tapie's La Vie Claire may not be a great example: with Hinault and Lemond in the team, there was no way to underperform. But when Tapie moved on, bought Marseille, it took a while for successes to get big. That's Oleg's situation right now. So Tapie began to apply pressure, disrespect his staff in the media. It felt really bad to see Hidalgo or Goethals, visibly humiliated on TV. Eventually Marseille won the Champion's League in '93. Tapie destroyed the club in the process, ended up in jail. Oleg parting ways with cycling will be a mess; I can bet it will be.

I agree that it's because of poor work conditions that unions exist. It's not because you pay people that you own them. We're not in the 19th century anymore. I am in favor of a union for the pro riders, a real union, unlike that joke led by Bugno. If the riders had a voice, Oleg would have been told to STFU: often, bullies need a good'ol punch in the face to learn respect.
 
Apr 3, 2011
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May 8, 2015
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I never got the "less teams" thing. I think it reasonable to say many cycling fans like the idea of smaller teams, but for the sake of the sport keep the sponsors. Oleg can suck it btw. What a jerk...
 
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