'Chris Froome's arrival will make me better' says Niv

Cyclingnews
·3-min read
 Israel Start-Up Nation’s Guy Niv climbs during stage 3 of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné
Israel Start-Up Nation’s Guy Niv climbs during stage 3 of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné

All four of the Israeli riders on the Israel Start-Up Nation team have signed contract extensions, with Guy Niv, Guy Sagiv, Omer Goldstein, and Itamar Einhorn agreeing to one-year deals.

In a statement released on Friday, the team wrote that they "expect 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."

The four-time Tour de France winner signed a long-term deal with the squad over the summer and will spearhead their challenge for the Tour next season after over a decade riding at Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers.

"Our Israelis are the core and the DNA of this team. 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," said team manager Kjell Carlström.

"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."

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For Niv, the opportunity to ride with Froome will be a major catalyst for motivation next season but the squad has added depth in almost every department with Michael Woods, Patrick Bevin, Sep Vanmarcke, and Daryl Impey all set to join.

"I believe that racing alongside a legend like Chris Froome will extract capabilities that you never imagined you had," said Niv, who became the first Israeli to ride the Tour de France this year.

"So, can I be worthy and assist him and the team in its new general classification Grand Tour goals? I absolutely believe I will rise to this level. Froome's arrival will make me better, and I will prove my worth to him and the team."

Team owner Sylvan Adams expressed his confidence in the Israeli riders on the team, who he thinks have made steps forward in 2020.

"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,” Adams said.

"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."

In related news, the team’s Continental team will be made up of U23 riders in 2021, with eight Israeli riders on the team.