Call from Froome key to Impey’s move to Israel Start-Up Nation

Team continues to bolster its lineup for next season in anticipation of arrival of four-time Tour-winner Chris Froome.

A longtime friendship with Chris Froome was key for Daryl Impey to move to Israel Start-Up Nation for 2021 on a two-year deal.

Team officials confirmed the move Wednesday as it continues to bolster its roster in anticipation of the arrival of four-time Tour de France winner Froome in 2021. The team revealed Tuesday it also signed Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal) as the squad updates its lineup.

Impey, 35, will join Israel Start-Up nation as road captain for the Tour and other major races.

“I decided to make a fresh start,” Impey said Wednesday. “I feel like I need to step out of the comfort zone of Mitchelton-Scott. I had great success with the team, formed many strong friendships, and made amazing memories. I can’t thank them enough for getting me this far in my career.”

“It certainly wasn’t an easy decision,” Impey said. “I gave it a great deal of thought. But it’s exciting to work with a new team, with new energy and new ambitions.”

Impey, who hails from South Africa, raced alongside Froome at Barloworld in 2008 and 2009, and later joined RadioShack and MTN-Qhubeka before linking up with the GreenEdge organization in 2012. He later won stages at the Tour de France as well as the Santos Tour Down Under.

“Daryl has shown in the past that he can be very valuable to a team, both in a support role and when going for personal results,” said Israel Start-Up Nation general manager Kjell Carlstrom. “In Daryl, we have a rider who can be a leader in some races and a team captain in others. He’s also bringing with him a wealth of experience that we can benefit from.”

Impey said the opportunity to race alongside Froome is what convinced him to make the move. It was a personal phone call from Froome that tipped the balance.

“It’s not often you get to race with one of the greats in our sport, so when Chris called me and said he trusts me and would like to have me by his side I appreciated that and knew he meant it,” Impey said. “I have known him a long time and our careers have nearly come full circle. We started out together at Barloworld and we are continuing at ISN. I know he can win another Tour de France, and it will be great to not only be part of that team, but to play an important role.”