The story behind the team.
In recent years, Team Saxo Bank and the company behind the team – Riis Cycling A / S – have undergone significant development. Sporting and corporate has been happening a lot since the fall of 1996, when the first shovels were taken to what for three years in a row from 2005 to 2007 placed the team number one on the world ranking for professional cycling teams and a company that in 2003 won the commercial taste of the Exchange’s Gazelle Prize.
Bjarne Riis took over the team and the company in 2000 and has since been at the forefront of the entire project, which is still being developed based on his visions and ideas. Most recently with the launch of a distribution section as part of the organization.
Since its inception, the company has had its headquarters in Herning, but in the winter of 2003 Riis Cycling A / S moved to Lyngby north of Copenhagen. The company employs a total of about 60 employees, and the new headquarters will in the future be the basis for a large number of new, business initiatives gathered under Riis Cycling A / S.
The first victories
Sportingly, the last nine seasons have offered several big victories. In 2001 Laurent Jalabert got his popular and result breakthrough in the Tour de France with the then Team CSC Tiscali. With two stage wins and the winner of the mountain competition, the team and Jalabert in particular, was one of the strongest features of the race.
The following year, Jalabert regained the dotted jersey, and before then, the team’s new venture, Tyler Hamilton, had fought for the combined victory at the Giro d’Italia. Under Bjarne Riis’ guidance, the American was retrained from being Lance Armstrong’s most important helper to one of the sport’s strongest stage riders. With a stage victory and an overall second place in the Giro, the foundation was laid for a Tour de France initiative, which seriously broke the following year.
Side by side with the team’s second stage trump, Carlos Sastre, and newly acquired Peter Luttenberger, Hamilton founded a solid victory in the team competition in the 100 year edition of the Tour de France. Along the way, Team CSC sensationally picked up three stage wins, and was one of the dominant teams of the race. After a troubled start with Tyler Hamilton’s fractured collarbone, the team rose to a historic success.
The team also achieved great success in the prestigious classics. Jalabert won Clasica San Sebastian in both 2001 and 2002, ending his phenomenal career with Team CSC.
Jakob Piil won his first World Cup race in the 2002 edition of Paris-Tours, and in the spring of 2003 Tyler Hamilton won Liège-Bastogne-Liège on top of a formidable team performance. It was also set for a particularly victorious season. There were 23 wins in 2003 in total.
The first podium placement in the Tour de France
In the 2004 season, a lot was added to both ambitions and achievements. With a constant points harvest season throughout, the team was extremely close to finishing the year as number one on the world rankings. With merit victories in the Tour Méditerranéen, Paris-Nice and Criterium International, the team established themselves as the Spring team, and although failed to pick up a triumph in the classics, the team took a solid lead in the rankings to the Tour de France.
The tradition is believed to be the world’s largest cycling race for an adventurous cheer for Team CSC. Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre led the team in the overall standings and at the same time secured Team CSC’s first podium placement for Ivan Basso, who crowned a major Tour de France with a historic victory in the Pyrenees. The experts could easily agree that Team CSC was the most significant team in the Tour de France 2004.
In the weeks following the Tour, Team CSC maintained the high level and continued to win: Post Denmark Round, LUK-Challenge and an impressive bronze medal for Bobby Julich at the Athens Olympics was one of the biggest highlights of late summer.
The best team in the world for the first time
With a record number of wins in the 2005 season, Team CSC was able to finish a superb cycle year with a first place on the world rankings. A large and long-term goal was achieved, and with 54 wins, Team CSC and Riis Cycling A / S had a key position in professional sports management worldwide. Minute planning, technological innovation, team spirit and an exceptionally broad squad were the cornerstones of the success of some of the sport’s most important, prestigious trophies: Ivan Basso second in the Tour de France, two yellow driver’s jerseys, a pink, Carlos Sastre’s third place in Vuelta a España , stage wins in all three major round trips, Bobby Julich’s win in Paris-Nice was among the highlights of a phenomenal year pointing to a great 2006.
Great classic victories
2006 also led to a new victory in the overall ProTour and the victory row reached 51 as the year progressed. Fabian Cancellara won both Paris-Roubaix and the World Cup in individual starts, while Fränk Schleck took the victory in the Amstel Gold Race and the legendary Tour de France stage victory at the top of the Alpe d’Huez on the way to a personal result as number three in the ProTour rankings .
In addition, Ivan Basso won the Giro d’Italia, and Jens Voigt took a stage victory in the Tour de France as well as no fewer than three stage victories and the overall victory in the Deutschland Tour. Finally, it should not be forgotten that Carlos Sastre completed all three Grand Tours and even became number three in the Tour de France and number four in Vuelta a Espana.
A fantastic 2007
These statistics improved Sastre in 2007, ranking fourth in the Tour de France and second in a Vuelta a España, all of which praised him for being the great pleasure in, thanks to his great attacking runs.
Earlier this year, Stuart O’Grady had celebrated his career’s greatest triumph with the Paris-Roubaix victory, and Jens Voigt regained the prestigious Deutschland Tour. Andy Schleck and Chris Anker Sørensen were the big breakthroughs. Schleck received a formidable second place in the Giro d’Italia and Sørensen sixth place in the Deutschland Tour and Top-20 in Vuelta a España.
Finally, Fabian Cancellara ran a series of irresistible races. secured him seven days in yellow in the Tour de France as well as a new World Cup gold medal in single start. The World Cup also gave a silver medal to Alexandr Kolobnev in the line race.
Team CSC – Saxo Bank wins Tour de France
In 2008, a new line was drawn in the sand when CSC decided to stop as sponsors after the season. In June, Saxo Bank therefore emerged as new sponsors. Initially as co-sponsor with CSC in the second half of the 2008 season and from 2009 as the sole main sponsor of what was then called Team Saxo Bank.
Already early in the 2008 season, the team left no one in doubt that they would run strong again. Fabian Cancellara was the spring’s biggest rider with victories in Monte Paschi Eroica, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo, and Jens Voigt followed up the career’s fourth overall win in Critérium International, while Kurt-Asle Arvesen won the E3 Pris Vlaanderen and Karsten Kroon Round of the Henninger Turm.
But the biggest victory – not just in the 2008 season, but throughout the team’s history – came in the summer of 2008, when a truly amazing team effort led Carlos Sastre to the overall Tour de France victory, Andy Schleck to the white jersey of the Tour and the team to the victory in the team competition after three stage wins along the way.
The second half of the 2008 season provided, among other things. a one-time Olympic gold medal and a bronze medal in the Fabian Cancellara line race. Matti Breschel followed up with a victory on the final stage of the Vuelta a España and bronze at the World Cup, while Carlos Sastre raced to the podium with third place in the Vuelta. Overall wins in the Tour de Pologne for Jens Voigt and the Herald Sun Tour for Stuart O’Grady led the team to a total of 48 wins in 2008.
New riders enter into character
The riders from Team Saxo Bank, were also in early form in 2009. JJ Haedo won a stunning stage victory in the Tour de San Luis, while Fabian Cancellara showed his strength on the prologue in the Tour of California.
When the spring classics reached the Ardennes, it was with Andy Schleck in absolute top form. After a very nice run, he was able to stretch his arms as winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Early summer saw a new star blink on the Team Saxo Bank team as Jakob Fuglsang surprisingly won the heavily occupied Tour of Slovenia. Later that year, Jacob was to show that the victory in Slovenia was no accident when he repeated the 2008 victory in Denmark Round.
With his crushing victory in the Tour de Suisse, Fabian Cancellara showed that form was where it should be before the Tour de France. So it came as no surprise when Fabian won the prologue in the Tour de France.
One of the highlights of the year from a Danish point of view was when Nicki Sørensen won the 12 stage in the Tour de France. After a long outburst, he said goodbye to his companions and drove alone across the finish line.
At stage 17, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck were all alone, and in the sprint, Fränk was the strongest, winning one of the career’s finest victories.
With three stage wins and Andy Schleck’s overall second place, Team Saxo Bank once again helped dominate this year’s biggest cycling race, the Tour de France.
In late summer, Team Saxo Bank’s riders were again in top form, with victories for Jakob Fuglsang in Denmark Round, the World Cup in individual start for Fabian Cancellara and Chris Anker Sørensen finishing the season winning the Japan Cup.
After nine seasons, Team Saxo Bank is constantly and purposefully developing new, major challenges, not least aimed at a new victory in the Tour de France and a clear and clear ambition: Always to get better!