Saxo Bank and 'Survival Camp' leader Christiansen part ways
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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Saxo Bank and 'Survival Camp' leader Christiansen part ways

by VeloNation Press at 11:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

After ten years of successful work with Bjarne Riis, former elite soldier and team advisor B.S. Christiansen told TV2 Sport he has decided to leave his post in order to focus on his job as coach of SAS League club FC Midtjylland.

"I've been with Team Saxo Bank for 10 years and have been incredibly happy and incredibly proud to help build the team up from scratch. We have won the Tour de France and had many other great victories, but now it is time that the boys must fend for themselves," Christiansen explained to TV2 Sport.

The team had just completed their famous survival camp led by Christiansen on the Spanish resort island of Fuerteventura. Riis has used the exercise for a decade to facilitate the team working together to solve various conflicts while under stressful and extreme conditions. He believes the yearly camp has been one of the keys to his CSC and now Saxo Bank team's successes on the road.

"B.S. has been with the team from the start and has had a lot to do with the things we have achieved with the team in terms of team spirit as well as results," Saxo Bank sports director Kim Anderson told sporten.dk

Anderson acknowledged there were no bad feelings with the split adding, "It is with great regret that he chose to stop. I got along really well with B.S., and he has meant a lot to the team, but now he's done his survival camps 10 times. He probably just felt that it was time to stop."

B.S. Christian's farewell to Bjarne Riis' team follows several other prominent names that have left Team Saxo Bank for new challenges in 2010. Riis was hit hard coming into the season when new co-sponsor IT Factory declared bankruptcy leaving the team financially strapped. Among those that have left include Lars Bak, Kurt Asle-Arvesen, Karsten Kroon, Alexandr Kolobnev as well as Press Officer Brian Nygaard.

But it's not all bad news for the Danish team, as they have been able to hold onto the core of the team so they will continue to be a big factor on the roads next season. The Schleck brothers Andy and Frank have both stayed, along with time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara and the big German engine of Jens Voigt. The team still has a solid group of workers that are capable of winning, and has brought Australian Baden Cooke and Sebastian Haedo to add depth to their sprint threat.

Riis has a history of making more with less when it comes to his team, and 2010 may prove to be the ultimate test for his abilities as a leader. With the departure of Christiansen ending on a high note, the possibility for him to work with the team on the survival camps in the future seems possible.

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