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Tour de France

Tour de France: Chris Froome, Michael Woods and Jakob Fuglsang lead Israel-Premier Tech

The team looks set to target stage wins throughout the Tour de France.

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Israel-Premier Tech has announced its Tour de France team with Chris Froome, Michael Woods, and Jakob Fuglsang all set to lead the team.

The 2022 Tour de France starts in Copenhagen on July 1 and ends in Paris three weeks later on July 24.

Alongside the trio of leaders will be Hugo Houle, Simon Clarke, Daryl Impey, Omer Goldstein, and Krists Neilands. The team is set to chase stage wins rather than aim for a high position in the overall standings despite recent stage wins for Woods and Fuglsang’s third place overall in the Tour de Suisse.

“In this Tour, the main priority for us is to win a stage. With Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España stage wins to our name, we would like to complete the Grand Tour trifecta with a Tour de France win so it’s certainly our main focus to begin with,” team manager Kjell Carlström said.

“We also want to keep our options open and see what may be possible in terms of fighting for a leader’s jersey like we did last year, when we had Michael Woods fighting for the KOM jersey. However, hunting for stages is definitely the most important goal for us in this year’s Tour de France.”

Froome, a four-time winner of the Tour de France, comes into the race with his form and condition still a relative unknown after he was forced to quit the Criterium du Dauphiné due to illness. He has now recovered and is on track to start the race but his ambitions will be relatively modest at this point.

“It’s awesome to be starting my 10th Tour de France with Israel-Premier Tech. I’ve worked exceptionally hard this year and I’m looking forward to giving it my all. We’ve got a great group of riders in the lineup and we can’t wait for the battle to begin in Copenhagen”, Froome added.

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He will certainly want to provide a better performance than the one he put in 12 months ago when a stomach bug and an early crash dented his opportunities.

Woods, however, looks well placed to target stage wins and possibly have a tilt at the king of the mountains competition. The Canadian won a stage and the overall at the recent La Route d’Occitanie-La Dépêche du Midi and has been one of the team’s most consistent riders in the first half of the season.

Fuglsang has also found his form in recent weeks after a difficult start to his 2022 campaign. The Danish rider won the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes ahead of Woods at the end of May and held on for a podium in Suisse behind Geraint Thomas and Sergio Higuita. He too is likely to target stage wins in the Tour.

”Starting the Tour de France in my home country will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure the Danish fans will make this year’s Grand Depart one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon”, Fuglsang said.

“After my victory in Mercan’Tour and third place overall in Tour de Suisse last week, I feel ready to take on this Tour. I’ve been working hard to get to this point and I believe my shape is where it should be right now. The Tour is always unpredictable, but I’m here to leave my mark on the race and not just to be another pair of legs in the bunch.”

Daryl Impey, a recent stage winner in the Tour de Suisse, will also hunt stages alongside Clarke and Neilands.

Houle, who looked impressive at the Tour de Suisse as a domestique for Fuglsang, will provide vital cover throughout the race, while Goldstein is racing his second straight Tour de France.

Israel-Premier Tech lineup for the 2022 Tour de France:
Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Michael Woods (CAN), Chris Froome (GBR), Daryl Impey (RSA), Simon Clarke (AUS), Hugo Houle (CAN), Krists Neilands (LAT), Omer Goldstein (ISR).