Israel Start-Up Nation returns to Slovakia. The team has good memories from the Okolo Slovenska, as Rudy Barbier won the final stage last year. The French sprinter will not start this Tour de Slovaquie and the race will feature the return of Itamar Einhorn.
The Israeli sprinter will race for the first time since (nearly) finishing the Vuelta a España. He says that teammates told him that doing a Grand Tour can make a rider significantly stronger. “I cannot wait to find out whether they were correct,” Einhorn says ahead of the Tour de Slovaquie.
“I am feeling good in training,” he continues, “and I am curious whether the race speed will feel the same or whether it will feel easier after doing the Vuelta. Anyway, I am ready to sprint for results.”
Einhorn will be accompanied by his fellow countryman Yuval Ben Moshe, who normally races for the U23 continental Israel Cycling Academy team. “I am in good shape,” Ben Moshe says. “I hope to help whenever the team needs me. I feel like we are going to have a lot of fun and I hope we can win.”
Chris Froome, Carl Fredrik Hagen, and Krists Neilands will also appear at the start line in Slovakia. They will be aiming for the harder stages in the race.
Neilands is coming back from a lower back injury and says he feels like it is fully healed up. The Latvian said, “Finally. I am happy to be back in the peloton. I am sure racing in Slovakia will be exciting, as we are bringing a nice team that can battle in each stage for results.”
“Personally, I hope to be up there with the best during the tougher stages.”
Sports director Rene Andrle agrees with Neilands, “We have a diverse team indeed, so I expect my riders to be active in each stage.”
Norman Vahtra and Taj Jones make it seven for Israel Start-Up Nation in Slovakia.
The Tour de Slovaquie opens with a prologue of 1.6 kilometers this Wednesday, and finishes Sunday.
ISN’s line-up for the Tour de Slovaquie (15/09 – 19/09):
- Itamar Einhorn
- Carl Fredrik Hagen
- Chris Froome
- Taj Jones
- Krists Neilands
- Norman Vahtra
- Yuval Ben Moshe
Sports directors: Rene Andrle and Nicki Sørensen