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Israel Start-Up Nation will kick off their 2021 campaign with a 10-day training camp in Girona, beginning on January 12.
The squad had planned to meet for a camp in Israel, however, due to a third round of COVID-19 restrictions, the team shifted the camp to Spain.
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“For us, Israel is the best location for the training camp, but under the circumstances, Girona was a natural choice,” said team manager Kjell Carlstrom.
The Israel Start-Up Nation service course and logistics headquarters is located in Girona, and many of the team’s riders reside and train in the region.
Israel’s vaccination rate is currently leading all nations which have access to a vaccine, and there is hope that the team will be able to visit Israel in late February or early March.
“We will hold a preliminary pre-season training camp in Spain, as it was impossible to confidently hold the camp in Israel, as we usually do, due to the COVID restrictions and with the borders closed to non-Israelis. So, we intend to do a second camp in Israel as soon as possible,” said team co-owner Sylvan Adams in a team announcement. “We look forward to showcasing ISN’s home country to the riders, especially to our new signings who haven’t attended one of our Israeli training camps in the past.”
Chris Froome will not be at this camp, as the four-time Tour de France winner continues his training and rehabilitation in California.
“Chris has made great progress with both his rehab and strength work to rebalance his body since his significant injury. After our internal assessment and discussion, we felt it was important for him to continue in his current environment in California,” said Paulo Saldanha, the team’s head of performance.
The team indicates that Froome will join camp meetings and media events via satellite and Zoom.
In addition to Froome, the team brought on other high-profile riders Sep Vanmarcke, Michael Woods, Daryl Impey, and Alessandro De Marchi.
For 2021, ISN says the team is openly focused on stage races, and the Girona camp will be the first chance for riders to work with each other, as well as focus on strengths and specialties: General classification, classics riders, and sprinters.
Carlstrom said, “We need to give [the riders] the chance to train and learn how to achieve their different goals together. It is critical, with so many new riders and the new goals we have in front of us.”