• Classics specialist “proud to wear ISN’s team jersey”

  • “This team is more than just a team”

  • Says Spring Classics in Autumn will be “interesting”

Jenthe Biermans is looking forward to picking up the 2020 season where he left off – with confidence in his abilities, learning from his mistakes and motivated to help his team bring in results. And part of that enthusiasm and motivation stems from the fact that he will be staying with the Israel Start-Up Nation team for another two years.

“This contract extension means a lot to me”, the 24-year-old said. “It shows that the team has a lot of confidence in me. In this difficult year getting a contract renewed this fast shows that they believe in me a lot.”

“This team is more than a team. It is a group of friends that makes difficult decisions and stands behind those decisions together. The team doesn’t only think about racing, but it also listens to the thoughts of the riders.”

Carlström: “Jenthe showed great attitude”

Kjell Carlström, ISN’s team manager, believes that Jenthe can become a great support rider in the classics and in some stage races. “He was there in the opening weekend in Belgium as well as in Paris-Nice with a great attitude and really supporting the team goals.”

“With him continuing to develop in the right way, we also see him as a future classics rider who, on a good day, can get excellent results for himself or supporting the team.”

“The team listens to the thoughts of the riders”

Carlström was “very happy” with how he rode in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and Le Samyn, building up to the all-important Spring Classics.

Paris-Nice was the next one on the calendar, but was the beginning of the end. The team made the decision to start the race, but as “more and more news and rumors about lockdowns in countries and closing borders” started circulating, it was difficult to keep the focus on racing.

With one stage to go, and the final stage having been canceled, team manager Kjell Carlström let the three remaining riders personally decide whether to ride that day or not. “As a group, we were afraid to get Corona without knowing and infect the people at home and the people who are very close to our hearts, like our grandparents.”

The team said they would accept whatever decision was made. “We were free to choose. Then we decided to stop the race” after that stage. “I am still very thankful to our team owners and the manager to give us a free and open decision.”

Riding regularly with Ben Hermans

Home he went, to the family farm. He stayed with his parents, helping them with raising calves. “I was helping my father more on the farm than usual, to be still active and try to find more mental rest after the important Classics period suddenly disappeared. Mentally it was hard that our normal life just stopped and we came into a totally different way of living.”

Living in Belgium, he could still train with one other rider, always the same one: His teammate Ben Hermans, with whom he has just finished a personal ten-day training camp in France.

This year the Spring Classics will be the Late Summer-Autumn Classics, filled with lots of uncertainties. “The weather can be still good but also very bad in October in Belgium. So all these new circumstances can be very interesting as nobody knows what’s the best race plan to work towards the Classics.”

His goal is not only to bring in his first professional victory but to do so with ISN, which means so much to him. “It is a dream to win a pro race and I hope to make my dream come true together with my ISN teammates and staff. I want to develop myself more in the classics to be an important rider in the classic team of ISN. That we can make nice results and win a lot of races as a team.”

“I wear my team jersey with pride. I am very proud to be a member of this team.”

Text: Susan Westemeyer, Photos: Noa Arnon