Following breakthrough season, Guy Niv, Guy Sagiv, Omer Goldstein, and Itamar Einhorn sign for 2021 season
Guy Niv: “Froome’s arrival will make me better, and I will prove my worth to him and the team”
Four Israelis to compete against each other at Saturday’s national championship
November 20, 2020 (Tel Aviv)
Team Israel Start-Up Nation announced today that an agreement has been reached with its four leading Israeli riders – Guy Niv, Guy Sagiv, Omer Goldstein, and Itamar Einhorn – to continue racing with the newly upgraded team next season following their breakthrough 2020 season.
The team expects further improvement from the Israeli riders next season to meet the new performance standards, following the arrival of world-class riders to a revamped roster headed by Chris Froome.
“Our Israelis are the core and the DNA of this team,” said Team Manager Kjell Carlstrom, adding that “all of them proved that they are becoming better and stronger riders. It’s not an easy task as we are constantly evolving and stepping up. It was encouraging to see how they faced the challenge and stepped up as well. But next year, we will need to see them improve again as the team is progressing and moving forward. I am confident that we will see the guys jumping another level too.”
The Israeli riders welcomed the opportunity: “I believe that racing alongside a legend like Chris Froome will extract capabilities that you never imagined you had,” said Guy Niv, who less than two months ago became the first Israeli rider to finish the Tour de France. “So, can I be worthy and assist him and the team in its new General Classification (lead riders) Grand Tour goals? I absolutely believe I will rise to this level.”
Israel Start-Up Nation team owner Sylvan Adams expressed his deep appreciation for the Israeli riders’ impressive progress this season:
“Our four Israeli riders each made significant progress this year, despite the difficulties caused by a COVID-shortened calendar. Three of them completed a Grand Tour, with Guy Niv making history as the first Israeli in cycling’s biggest race, the Tour de France. Itamar Einhorn scored the first podium ever by an Israeli and then topped it with the first-ever Israeli victory in a UCI race. Omer Goldstein rode in his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta and was a significant contributor to team leader Dan Martin’s near podium finish. Finally, Guy Sagiv, who has now completed two Grand Tours, rode solidly at this year’s Giro, despite returning from injury. I am excited they will all continue with us. All in all, I feel that Israeli cycling is in great shape, and I expect more and more talented riders to come knocking on our door.”
The team also announced that it plans to revamp its Continental “Israel Cycling Academy” team and will race in 2021 with a full under-23 squad, including eight young Israelis.
“ISN will select some of those Israelis to take part in a few of its races starting in 2021,” stated the team’s co-owner Ron Baron. “I fully expect some of those riders to join ISN as WorldTour riders the following year.”
The four leading Israeli riders (Niv, Sagiv, Einhorn and Goldstein) will face each other, not as teammates but as fierce competitors this Saturday in the Israeli National Road Race Championships, in a battle to win the coveted championship jersey. “I will do my best to defend my jersey,” said the current Israeli champion Guy Sagiv. “I motivated myself to stay in shape during this unusual time that is supposed to be an off-season. But truly, the most important task will be to prove that we – the Israelis – can make the leap expected from us in 2021. I believe we can.”
About Team Israel Start-Up Nation
Israel’s first professional cycling team was established in 2015 as “Israel Cycling Academy,” including riders from Israel and abroad. The team began to compete at a higher level when Sylvan Adams joined as a co-owner alongside Ron Baron. In 2018, Adams was the driving force behind bringing the prestigious Giro d’Italia to begin in Israel – One of cycling’s three Grand Tour races. This also saw the team compete in its first Grand Tour, with Guy Sagiv becoming the first Israeli to finish such a race. The team competed again in the Giro d’Italia in 2019, with Israeli Guy Niv completing the race. Later in 2019, the team took another historic step, joining the World Tour (the highest level of professional cycling) for the first time under the name Team Israel Start-Up Nation, securing its place in this year’s Tour de France.