ISN first move toward reshaping the team for 2021
“Mr. Reliable” Tom Van Asbroeck signed for two more seasons
The Belgian has proved to be arguably the team’s most productive rider.
Van Asbroeck: “The team is on the up – has helped me to progress.”
”My dream is to spend the rest of my career with ISN.”
Tel – Aviv. May 18
Fully prepared to restart the coronavirus-derailed season, Team Israel Start-Up Nation has made the first move to reshape its roster for 2021 by securing the services of one of its most productive riders, Belgian Tom Van Asbroeck, for two more years.
Van Asbroeck, who joined the team in 2018, has proved to be a model of progress and productivity, leading the team in points and Top 10 results in 2019 (27 Top 10, including five podiums and a victory) and being the team’s undisputed “Mr. Reliable.”
“I joined this team because I saw a project on the up,” said the 30-year old. “But the great thing that happened to me here was not only the team kept growing – but also me. This team helped me further improve, and what happened in 2019 was the testament of that. So, when the team approached me a few weeks ago, in the middle of the Corona crisis and offered me an extension – it was the easiest decision in the world for me. They said that I could take my time, but I said: I am ready now! It’s a huge honor for me and a great reward”.
The team’s pro manager Kjell Carlstrom explained the move as a win-win: securing a productive proven and versatile rider, and making sure to have an essential cornerstone for the Classics squad for years to come: “We have been delighted with Tom these last two years,” said Carlstrom. “He is always 100% dedicated, has great insight, and helps the team towards success. He can strengthen both a Classics s and a Grand Tour squad, as well as enhance the team spirit with his positive attitude. We are sure that having him in the team is important in the coming years, and that is why we offered him a two-year contract extension now.”
ISN owner Sylvan Adams: “I am happy to see Tom Van Asbroeck rewarded with a two-year contract to continue his journey with Israel Start-up Nation. Tom is the consummate teammate for our race leaders when asked to ride in support. He is a fine finisher in his own right, boasting the most Top 10 results on our team in 2019. Finally, he understands what the mission of ISN is. We are more than a pro bike team; we have a mission. Welcome back, Tom. Yalla!”
Van Asbroeck gave the team and especially its Performance Director Paulo Saldanha a lot of credit for his progress: “This team is always going forward, improving in every facet of the game: innovation, equipment, nutrition, performance. And even at 30, with having experience with big teams, I find myself learning. The best example is our performance director Paulo Saldanha noticing that my upper body position on the bike during sprints was a bit too high. He was analyzing this on video and made me change it, and of course, he was right”. Van Asbroeck was rewarded with a great victory in Binch–Chimay–Binch classic to end a fantastic year. “Paulo became a mentor to me, but this goes all around the team. I can frankly say that the level of support to the riders is at 110 percent. They trust you. They believe in you and your judgment, and you feel that this is your family. I am 30 years old now, and I plan to ride many more years, and frankly: my biggest dream is that I will spend the rest of my career with ISN and help it reach its full vision and goals.”
Of course, one of them is to keep developing its Israeli core of riders and young talent. Van Asbroeck has been an active, vocal leader: “The Israelis are progressing admirably in front of our eyes.”
The Belgian made sure to add that he has an unfinished business this season: “I have been keeping in shape like all my teammates with the team’s active help. I am waiting impatiently for the season renewal and refuse to think of a catastrophic scenario that the whole season will get thrown away. I am optimistic and ready to go!”