Saxo Bank heading to Israel for traditional ‘boot camp’

Saxo Bank riders will be heading to Israel for a unique pre-season training camp that's likely a first among the professional peloton.

2011 Tour de France, stage 15, Bjarne Riis
Bjarne Riis is taking his Saxo Bank squad to Israel for a preseason training camp.

Saxo Bank riders will be heading to Israel for a unique preseason training camp that’s likely a first among the professional peloton.

Team boss Bjarne Riis is holding his traditional boot-camp-style team-building camp in Israel, where riders and staff will get together to forge a closer unity going into the 2012 season.

Traditionally, these boot camps have been held either in Spain’s Canary Islands or in the damp, dark woods of Denmark, but Riis is taking up an offer from Israeli backer Raya Strauss.

According to a team release, the team camp will focus on building closer bonds between riders and staff, as well as the themes of “charity work that benefits children and globalizing and promoting cycling.”

“I think we have put together a very different and very interesting program in cooperation with Raya Strauss and The Shimon Peres Center for Peace in Israel,” Riis said in a team statement. “We believe this is a great way of building our team and giving everyone on board a lifetime experience. At the same time, we hope to showcase that cycling offers a lot of qualities when it comes to helping others.”

The team camp is slated for November 29 to December 11.

Riders and staff will gather for an official team presentation Tuesday morning at the Saxo Bank headquarters in Denmark.