Road

Alex Dowsett extends with Israel Start-Up Nation for two more seasons

British rider is latest to extend with Israel Start-Up Nation, with ambitions for hour record and Olympic Games.

Alex Dowsett isn’t going anywhere.

The popular British rider will stay with Israel Start-Up Nation for two more seasons, the team confirmed Friday.

Dowsett delivered the team’s first grand tour stage victory at the 2020 Giro d’Italia, and that victory helped seal the deal for the 32-year-old who is broadening his skill set.

“I’m often referred to as a time trial specialist, and it’ll forever be a discipline I love, but I feel I’m of far more value to a team for my strengths as a lead-out man,” Dowsett said. “The team we had for UAE, Tirreno, and the Giro was so cohesive and such a joy to be a part of. This is what I’m most excited about for the upcoming two years.”

Dowsett, who recently announced another attempt at the hour record, joined the team as part of the fusion with the now-defunct Katusha team in 2020.

Next year sees a major makeover for the team with the arrival of Chris Froome and another half-dozen marquee riders. The team will create a grand tour squad around Froome, with riders like Dowsett playing a variety of roles within the team.

“Alex has been a great asset for the team,” said team manager Kjell Carlstrom. “As a TT specialist, he brings a lot of value, but we see him as a crucial part of our sprints lead-out train, a role he has already taken on himself this season in the Giro and in other races.”

Full statement from Alex Dowsett:

I’m thrilled to be continuing my professional cycling career with Israel Start-Up Nation for another two years. It’s been a tough year for so many, not just within cycling, but globally with the pandemic.  Despite this, it has been remarkable to see and play a part in ISN, not letting it impede their ambitions and progress of stepping up to WorldTour status and being highly competitive.

For me this year, a highlight is unsurprisingly stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia, something I couldn’t have done without the team, their sponsors, the directors, and my teammates. It was only a matter of time before one of ISN’s roster secured the team’s first-ever WorldTour and grand tour win, and I’m honored I was able to be the team member that delivered that to the line.

Being on the road with the team is great fun. I’m often referred to as a time trial specialist, and it’ll forever be a discipline I love, but I feel I’m of far more value to a team for my strengths as a lead-out man. The team we had for UAE, Tirreno, and the Giro was so cohesive and such a joy to be a part of. This is what I’m most excited about for the upcoming two years.

From the outside, it’s clear ISN is one of the most exciting up-and-coming teams. With the strength of the signings for next year, including Bevin, Vanmarcke, Woods, De Marchi, and of course, Chris Froome, it will be quite something to be part of a team with ambitions to match the signings. I’ll be playing a loyal supporting role to these guys and the sprinters throughout the year. When your teammate wins, you feel like it’s a win for everyone.

For my own personal ambitions – I want to make history for the whole hemophilia community by being selected for, competing in and, medaling in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. I will soon be taking on the hour record, something I have wanted to do since my successful attempt in 2015.