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Return of the Eagle? A Bjarne-Oleg Open Thread

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Bjarne Riis might be about to buy his old team back. Or not.

Will we soon see that smiling face in a team car near you?
Will we soon see that smiling face in a team car near you?
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

There's a story/non-story brewing in the Twittersphere, originating at a Danish newspaper, that  Bjarne Riis, The Eagle of Herning, is ready to swoop back down on the unsuspecting victims at his old team and reacquire the team he sold to Oleg Tinkoff in 2013. Riis left the team earlier this year but at least in the minds of the Ekstrabladet newspaper, he's anxious to get back into the sport, and Tinkoff's financial woes have maybe opened up that opportunity.

Or maybe not. Tinkoff turned around and told Cycling News that while everything has a price, there was no such deal under discussion. The team is already registered under Tinkoff Cycling for 2016, and will have World Champion Peter Sagan to parade the name around (begging the question, how much sponsor money are they blowing by putting Tinkoff's name on the arc-en-ciel? #notmyproblem). If the team is for sale, Tinkoff would have to be in dire financial straits to sell for anything like the $6 million he paid Riis for the team two years ago.

Speculation abounds that Riis is still close with Saxo Bank folks, or maybe has a deal with some other sponsor, giving him some real leverage to return to the sport. [Someone (ahem!) even said Volkswagen, which either is funny or would be.] I don't have any opinion on what's real or not here. All I am willing to say is that Danish Cycling is pretty loaded with young talent these days, and if your country's only World Tour team is going to be run by a polarizing figure, it might as well be your *own* polarizing figure. But the foreign one owns the team until further notice, so perhaps that's all this story will ever be. Chat away -- speculate even, if you must.