The high-profile signing of the four-time Tour de France champion sees a major makeover for the Israeli-backed cycling team for 2021 with the arrival of nine new riders, but team officials wanted to secure a core presence of promising Israeli talent.
Guy Niv, Guy Sagiv, Omer Goldstein, and Itamar Einhorn all will remain with the WorldTour squad next season, officials confirmed Friday.
“Our Israelis are the core and the DNA of this team,” said team manager Kjell Carlström. “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. 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.”
All four have been part of the team since at least 2018, and Sagiv and Niv became the first Israeli riders to start a grand tour during the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The 26-year-old Niv went on to become the first Israeli to start a Tour de France, riding to 139th in the 2020 Tour. Goldstein completed the Vuelta a España earlier this month.
“I believe that racing alongside a legend like Chris Froome will extract capabilities that you never imagined you had,” Niv said. “So, can I be worthy and assist him and the team in its new GC grand tour goals? I absolutely believe I will rise to this level.”
All four will face off this coming weekend (November 21-22) at the Israeli national road championships.
“Our four Israeli riders each made significant progress this year, despite the difficulties caused by a COVID-shortened calendar,” said team owner Sylvan Adams. “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.”
The team also announced it will revamp its continental-level Israel Cycling Academy team and will race in 2021 with a full under-23 squad, including eight young Israelis.