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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, November 1, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens. - Woody Allen


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Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2019: A Year of New Faces is available as an audiobook here.

US feds hit Oleg Tinkov with $500 million fine for tax fraud

VeloNews posted this:

Oleg Tinkov has been slapped with a $500 million fine and a suspended one-year jail sentence for tax fraud.

Documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice this week detail the huge punishment to be served by Tinkov, the former owner of the now-shuttered WorldTour team Tinkoff-Saxo.

Oleg Tinkoff

Oleg Tinkoff with Bjarne Riis in 2015. Riis had owned the Tinkoff-Saxo team in 2014 before selling it to Tinkoff.

“The founder of a Russian bank [i.e., Tinkov] was sentenced today for his felony conviction for filing a false tax return. As required under his plea agreement, prior to sentencing, Oleg Tinkov, aka Oleg Tinkoff, paid $508,936,184, more than double what he had sought to escape paying to the U.S. Treasury through a scheme to renounce his U.S. citizenship and conceal from the IRS large stock gains that he knew were reportable,” reads the document.

The Russian-born Tinkov became a U.S citizen in the 1990s, and amassed a net worth once estimated at some $8.2 billion through his portfolio of interests.

The flamboyant businessman moved into cycling in 2012 through his involvement with Saxo Bank-Sungard before stepping up to full title sponsorship of the team of Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan through his banking business in 2016.

Tinkov stepped away from the peloton in 2017 but then became embroiled in a series of scuffles with U.S. officials for allegedly concealing stock market gains. Tinkov eventually entered a plea to one count of filing a false tax return at the start of this month.

You can read the entire story here.

Eolo-Kometa signs Simone Bevilacqua, Giovanni Lonardi and Mirco Maestri

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Three riders sought, chosen and wanted. Three riders who are already enthusiastic to join the project and who will bring all their experience, freshness, desire and dreams.

After the renewal announcements, after the welcome given to Diego Rosa and David Martín, it’s time to get to know better three new faces that the fans will soon learn to love.

Simone Bevilacqua:
Born in 1997, able to defend himself very well in time trial, the cyclist from Thiene arrives in EOLO-KOMETA home after two seasons in Vini Zabù. Professional since 2018, he boasts two Italian junior titles: one on track in 2014 (scratch) and one time trial in 2015. In 2019 he won the seventh stage of the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia.

Simone Bevilacqua

Simone Bevilaque on a break in the 2021 Strade Bianche. Sirotti photo

“There is all the enthusiasm that is normal to feel when you start a new adventure, especially when you come as I do from two years a bit difficult. Here in EOLO-KOMETA I’m sure I’ll find the right environment and the motivation I need. I’m here because the team looked for me and wanted me, and this is a huge satisfaction for me: hearing Ivan Basso calling you and asking you to race for him is not something that happens every day…”.

Giovanni Lonardi:
Born in 1996 and native of Verona, Giovanni arrives from Bardiani CSF. In his palmares a stage at the Tour de Taiwan and one at the Tour of Thailand (2019), a stage at the Tour of Antalya (2020) and a stage at the Tour of Bulgaria (2021). Sprinter, able to hold out on the not-too-hard climbs and then give it everything in the sprint.

“The key word for this new adventure of mine is: relaunch. If I look back I see some ups and downs and too many disappointed expectations for different reasons, now it’s time for a new experience and to make some results: and this team is the best place. In the season just ended I was watching in the group the riders of EOLO-KOMETA and the impression was to see a new team that did not seem new. Since the beginning, for the mentality with which it raced, it has been an example to follow for all the Professional teams”.

Mirco Maestri:
Mirco was born in Guastalla (Reggio Emilia) in 1991, and has lived his entire career as a Pro in the Bardiani CSF. Experienced rider, professional since 2016, in his palmares won the victory in the points classification at Tirreno-Adriatico 2019 and the second place in the same classification in the 2017 edition. His other victories a stage and the general classification of the 2018 Tour of Rhodes, a stage at the 2019 Tour of China, the GP Slovenian-Istria and the GP Slovenia in 2021. In 2019 he came close to success in a stage of the Giro d’Italia, mocked after a very long breakaway.

“This is a very important turning point for me: new stimuli, new people even if I find with great pleasure Stefano Zanatta that I know very well. When that morning I received a message from Ivan Basso on my phone asking me if I wanted to race with him, I got goosebumps: as a kid I was a fan of his and I also adored Contador, finding them again is a dream. I want to turn over a new leaf, I don’t deny the past years and I thank all the people I’ve met but now I need new stimuli and to repay the trust I’ve been given. I’m a complete rider, I don’t like to wait for the race but I love to attack, then I pull the sprints for my teammates and if I need to give a hand I don’t pull back. I bring my wealth of experience, I’ve raced four Giro d’Italia and four Milano-Sanremo: and I dream of winning that stage at the Giro that I only came close to”.

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