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Tinkoff Bank admits interest in sole sponsorship of cycling team

Tinkoff Bank has admitted it is considering assuming sole sponsorship of the Saxo-Tinkoff International Cycling Union (UCI) ProTour team.

The Russian financial services company began its co-sponsorship of the team last summer, partnering Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, whose deal expires at the end of this year.

“I am considering getting sole sponsorship of the team,” Tinkoff Bank founder Oleg Tinkov told the Sporten.dk website. “There will be no definitive statements now. I have to wait until Paris (the end of the 2013 Tour de France).”

Fellow co-sponsor Saxo Bank denied any knowledge of the potential move and stated it would be willing to renew its contract with the team.

Saxo Bank spokesman Kasper Elbjørn told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet: “It's news to us. But we can understand Tinkoff Bank speculating for a full sponsorship because just as they are, we are also pleased with our sponsorship. Therefore we have started negotiations to extend our sponsorship, but negotiations are still ongoing, and as long as they are, we will not comment on them."

This year’s Tour de France will conclude in Paris on July 21.