Lars Michaelsen returns to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank as directeur in place of Brad McGee
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lars Michaelsen returns to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank as directeur in place of Brad McGee

by Ben Atkins at 7:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dane rejoins Bjarne Riis after two years at Leopard Trek and RadioShack-Nissan

lars michaelsenLars Michaelsen is to return to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank as a directeur sportif from 2013, the Danish team has announced. The 43-year-old Dane was a rider at Bjarne Riis’ team - when it was sponsored by CSC - from 2003, until his retirement in the spring of 2007; he then became a directeur at the team, before departing at the end of 2010 - with many of its riders - to the newly formed Leopard Trek team.

Michaelsen stayed with the Luxembourg team as its roster merged with the American RadioShack team to become RadioShack-Nissan. With the team having faced a number of problems this year - not least the implication of general manager Johan Bruyneel in Lance Armstrong’s USPS doping conspiracy - Michaelsen has elected to return to his former team from next year.

“Over the last couple of years I have gained valuable experience working as a sport director for Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, and I'm thankful for that,” said Michaelsen. “But when Bjarne contacted me and offered me a position on his team, I felt the time was right to move on with my career.

“I'm really looking forward to become part of the development of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and to once again work for Bjarne and his team.”

Having lost many of his big names at the end of 2010 - especially with Fränk and Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Jakob Fuglsang and several others joining Leopard Trek - Riis is clearly pleased that Michaelsen has decided to return to his new look team.

"I'm delighted to be able to welcome Lars back on our team and to start working with him again,” Riis said. “Lars brings a solid experience as sport director, he has strong organisational skills and without a doubt he will be a great asset for us, especially in the Classic campaign.”

Michaelsen will step in as a direct replacement for Australian Brad McGee, who has been a directeur at Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank since his retirement at the end of 2008, but has decided to take up a coaching position at the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

"After 20 years of living, racing and working overseas, I feel I'm returning to my roots,” said the Australian, “having been one of the first inducted athletes in the institute during its inception in 1996. I look forward to applying my personal coaching skills, ethics and experience to this new role plus increasing my knowledge in fields such as sports science.

"Leaving Riis Cycling has been incredibly difficult for me personally and I have given the decision much deliberation over the past months,” he continued. “I feel proud of my work done, and it is my wish to remain a friend and supporter of this great team. It's been a huge life experience for me to be a sport director in such a professional outfit.

“I thank Bjarne for the opportunity he presented to me at the term of my racing career and the trust and respect he has offered me during these past years. But now I also feel, I am ready for new challenges, new experiences, personal growth and development.”


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