Retired Rogers rejoins Riis as CEO of new cycling project

Michael Rogers has retired from racing, but he'll stay involved with cycling as CEO of Bjarne Riis's new team, which aims to launch in 2017.

Mick Rogers’s retirement didn’t last long. The Australian hung up the cleats last month, citing a potentially dangerous heart condition, but will swap out the intensity of racing for the boardroom.

Rogers will become CEO of the new cycling project run by Bjarne Riis and Lars Seier Christensen, called the Riis Seier Project, with eyes on developing a profitable, sustainable sponsorship model for an elite pro cycling team.

“After I retired, I was given many opportunities to join different cycling teams in a variety of capacities,” Rogers said in a press note. “Cycling is in my DNA, and I absolutely love the sport. … I have been very interested in the business side of things for the past couple of years, and Bjarne and I have spoken about it from time to time, so when this opportunity came, to stay within the world of cycling but also get a chance to learn something new and delve into the business side of cycling, I knew this was what I wanted.”

The Riis Seier Project is trying to do something novel in the cycling world: make money from a pro cycling team sponsorship. There are no firm plans yet, though there have been suggestions that a new team could be up and running by 2017. There were no new details revealed Tuesday, but Rogers hinted at some openings.

“We have started opening up discussions with interested parties — both on the business and the cycling side of the project,” Rogers said. “My main focus will be to keep money coming in and to build a sustainable business. We don’t have all the answers, but I believe that we can help create a better world of cycling. Cycling is a fantastic sport, and the sport I love, but it needs to change and modernize to reach its full potential. And this process we have begun can be a big part of that.”