Israel – Premier Tech aims to continue the team’s most successful season to date, chasing stage win glory at this year’s Tour de France.

“The main goal is to win a stage,” sports director Steve Bauer explains. “It’s a clear goal that certainly 21 other teams have as well. We have a strong, balanced and versatile team with riders able to shine in different terrains, giving us potential to be competitive throughout the race as the Tour evolves stage by stage. The competition will be fierce, but I believe in the group we are bringing to this Tour.”

“In the past editions of the Tour, we have been successful racing aggressively, opportunistically and hunting for stage wins from breakaways. We will still need to do that, however, we need to be ready for the intense sprint finishes or even to challenge the best competitors in the mountains. Every stage is a chance and a new day to race hard to be in the game. The Tour is never easy, but we know we have guys who can win.”

IPT has won three stages in the last two editions of the Tour de France, while captivating fans and spectators with its opportunistic and courageous way of racing.

Embodying this exact attitude on the bike is Tour debutant Derek Gee. The 26-year-old Canadian won the hearts of everyone watching last year’s Giro d’Italia and he’s lining up for the Tour fresh off a stage win and a sensational third place overall in Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month. Now, Gee hopes to follow in the footsteps of his Tour de France stage-winning Canadian teammates.

“I’m unbelievably excited to be lining up at my first Tour,” Gee tells. “It’s truly a childhood dream to race the Tour de France, and I can’t wait to experience the atmosphere of the biggest race in the world. The dream would be to win a stage and try to follow what Hugo [Houle] and Mike [Woods] have done for Canada at this race in the last few years.”

Stevie Williams is another Tour debutant for IPT who has had an incredible season so far, winning the Tour Down Under and Flèche Wallonne. After a strong show of strength at the Tour de Suisse last week, Williams is turning his focus towards the Tour de France.

Williams says: “I’m looking forward to racing in my debut Tour de France. It will be a special moment to line up at the biggest bike race in the world. It’s something I dreamt of as a kid growing up. This has already been a wonderful year for me so far with some nice victories. Now, I’m eager to target some stages over the next month and try to tick off a major goal for myself and for the team.”

This year’s course also offers numerous opportunities for the sprinters and in Pascal Ackermann, IPT has a strong card to play in the fast finishes. The 30-year-old German has previously won stages in Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia and now, he hopes to complete his Grand Tour hat-trick by taking a stage win in the Tour de France as well. Curiously, despite an already decorated career, Ackermann, too, is a Tour debutant.

“It’s a special feeling – I can’t really believe it,” he says. “I have been waiting eight years for this. Racing the Tour was my childhood dream. I grew up watching the race and I followed it on site, going camping, so it’s really special and really exciting to finally be racing it! I think my preparation has been going really well and I’m finally where I want to be.

“Getting a Grand Tour hat-trick would be very special. I’m really close to it and obviously, it’s a big goal for me. I really want to win a stage in this Tour. I’m not flying home without one.”

Tour debutant Jake Stewart and IPT veteran Guillaume Boivin are set to help Ackermann in the sprints, while Jakob Fuglsang and Krists Neilands will add firepower to the hilly stages. Former Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle completes the team’s line-up.

IPT team owner Sylvan Adams echoes the great ambitions and he’s looking forward to seeing the many Tour debutants showing off the team’s colors during the race.

He says: “I am pleased with our roster for this year’s Tour. It was one of the toughest team selections we have ever had to make which speaks of the depth of our rider roster. Ultimately, our performance team was unanimous in making these selections, knowing we wanted a team geared towards hunting for individual stages, rather than a high placing on GC. For the third consecutive year, our roster will boast three Canadians, cementing our position as both Israel’s and Canada’s home programs. I’m particularly excited for our first time Tour participants, representing half of the group selected. They will be hungry to make it count.”

Danish rider Fuglsang, who raced his first Tour in 2010, says: “I’m excited and happy to be going to the Tour again. I’m happy that I made the selection one more time. I hope that this time I can make it all the way through and finish the race with the time trial, as that stage will be special for me, running from my home in Monaco to Nice.”

Houle, one of the three riders to win Tour stages in IPT colors, adds: “I think we will have a lot of fun! The Tour is a unique race that I really like. I hope to have a good role in the team’s performance, playing a key part in the target stages for the other riders, but also to try to win a stage again from a breakaway.”

Fellow Canadian rider Boivin, who has raced the Tour every since since 2021 for IPT, says: “Every year the team gets better and it’s harder to make the selection. I’m really proud to be a part of the team this year and to be riding my fourth Tour in a row. It’ll be a good, hard, and busy three weeks, but I’m looking forward to helping our leaders get more wins at the Tour!”

Stewart, the team’s fourth Tour debutant, made the selection despite missing the first two months of the season through injury. “It’s the race I grew up watching – the 2009 Tour de France is what got me into the sport and I think it’s every bike rider’s dream to be in it,” he says. “To be selected for my debut Tour de France in 2024 is pretty amazing and it’s a dream come true.

“It’s been a long road. Also, it wasn’t really planned at the start of the season – when I sat down with the team at the end of last year I’d be going to the Tour, but things have happened to me since! It was a long process getting back to fitness – I spent a lot of time at altitude, a lot of time away from home and my family, making the sacrifices you’ve got to make to be at the top of this sport, but I’m super happy the hard work has paid off.”

On the eve of his fourth Tour start for IPT, Neilands says: “After seeing what we have achieved with the team in the past years at Tour I’m not afraid to say that we are coming to this year’s race hungry and with big ambitions. We have a strong team and great people around us who will work hard for each other to make big things happen.”

IPT at the Tour de France

Riders: Pascal Ackermann (GER), Guillaume Boivin (CAN) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Derek Gee (CAN), Hugo Houle (CAN), Krists Neilands (LAT), Jake Stewart (GBR), Stevie Williams (GBR)

Sports Directors: Steve Bauer (CAN), Sam Bewley (NZL), Dror Pekatch (ISR), Rik Verbrugghe (BEL)