Israel Start-Up Nation signs Carl Fredrik Hagen

The promising Norwegian will join Chris Froome in 2021 as the team expands its GC base.

Carl Fredrik Hagen, a promising Norwegian GC rider, will join Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021.

The 28-year-old, currently on Lotto-Soudal, will join the Israeli team as part of its bolstered GC unit that will grow with the arrival of Chris Froome next year. He’ll help Froome, but also have his own chances, the team confirmed Tuesday.

“I look forward to evolving further in a team with those ambitions, and working together with some of the world’s best riders,” Hagen said. “It’s going to be exciting and fun to be integrated into a new team that hasn’t yet reached its full potential. We’ll build up together toward success in the coming years. I’m looking for a role and an opportunity to achieve some good results in the GC and individual stages, as well as to support the team captains to success in the mountains.”

Hagen impressed in his rookie WorldTour season in 2019, riding into the top-10 with eighth in his grand tour debut at the Vuelta a España.

“We believe he has the potential to go further,” said team manager Kjell Carlstrom. “We see him having a double position in the team; he can learn and gain more expertise while being a great help to our other riders and getting his own chances in other races, including Grand Tours. I value his attitude. He has both feet on the ground and clear ambitions and goals for his future career with us.”

Hagen is a late-bloomer for road racing. He initially started his sporting career as a Nordic skier, and then began racing mountain bikes. He didn’t take up road racing seriously until he was 23, and raced four seasons on Continental-level teams in Norway before jumping to Lotto-Soudal in 2019.

“My drive to get better is what’s bringing me forward,” Hagen said. “I’m never satisfied, even when I’m in great shape. I’m 28 years old and still feel like I have lots to learn and accomplish on my bike. I look forward to continuing this journey and evolving in the right direction with ISN.”