Lars Seier Christensen, Bjarne Riis to launch World Tour cycling team

A follow-up to LeapRate’s earlier report about the collaboration between Lars Seier Christensen, Saxo Bank co-founder and former co-CEO, and Bjarne Riis, a former manager of the Tinkoff-Saxo team and 1996 Tour de France winner.

Earlier today, Mr Riis and Mr Christensen unveiled more information about the project, dubbed Riis*Seier.

Both have invested around EUR 5 million in a company called Riis-Seier Holding, which has invested money in a number of projects, ranging from a fitness bike with virtual reality capacity called the VirtuPro bike, to advanced fitness and nutrition apps. The key project of the company will be a World Tour cycling team, which will, at the earliest, be formed in 2017.

The idea is that these ancillary projects around the cycling team will be able to synergize, Mr Christensen explains, and thus increase the collective value of all the projects in tandem. This is also set to give the World Tour team a more stable financial base, given the uncertain and short-term nature of sponsorships nowadays.

Lars Seier Christensen says,

“We want to create a diverse and sustainable business company around a strong cycling team. With this model, it should be possible to create a much healthier business concept, where the cycling team boosts the business elements of the group and the business elements boost the cycling team.”

Bjarne Riis adds,

“Can this concept work without a World Tour team? Yes it can. The business plan is sustainable in and of itself. If we are to have a team, then it has to be a working part of the concept. We don’t just want to build a cycling team: we want to build a foundation.”

Both Riis and Seier believe that they have a business plan that will be cash-generating.

“I have passion for the sport, but the business side has to make sense and make a profit. It is easy to lose $500 million on a football team and then win the Champions League, but that is not business. That is charity,” Lars Seier said. “But passion is important, and the best business results are often achieved if you have a passion for your projects.”

When asked how much money he expects to make, he replies,

“It is a little early, but I expect to make quite a bit”.

For the full announcement from Seier Capital, click here.

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