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Nick Schultz lands late-hour deal with Israel Premier Tech

Officials say the team roster is full with 29 riders, putting a damper on rumors of the arrival of Nairo Quintana.

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Nick Schultz found a late-hour reprieve to join Israel Premier Tech for 2023.

The improving Aussie rider was linked to join B&B Hotels, but was left without a contract after that team unexpectedly imploded in the wake of a sponsor crisis.

Although the IPT roster was considered complete with the signing of Stevie Williams in early December, the team didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sign the 28-year-old Australian climber, said IPT general manager Kjell Carlström.

“Like Stevie Williams, Nick came onto the rider market late in the off season but he was a rider we were immediately interested in,” Carlström said. “Nick is a great climber and will provide key support for our GC and classics leaders while also pursuing his own ambitions, something he proved is well within his reach having narrowly missed a Tour de France stage win this year in his debut participation.”

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Schultz, 28, will join his teammates at a pre-season training camp in Spain in January, officials said.

The arrival of Schultz puts the team’s roster at 29 for 2023.

With confirmation that the team’s roster is now full, conjecture that Nairo Quintana was poised to join the team seems to be just rumors.

The Colombian star remains without a firm contract following his tramadol case at the 2022 Tour de France. Many top-level teams have publicly denied they will sign him.

Israel Premier Tech will race at the ProTeam level in 2023 after missing out on earning enough UCI points to secure a WorldTour license for 2023-25.

The team’s core remains in place for 2023, with 10 riders leaving or retiring, as is the case with Alex Dowsett, Guy Niv, and Matthias Brändle. Carl Fredrik Hagen, Patrick Bevin, and Alessandro De Marchi are the top riders leaving.

Canadian riders James Piccoli and Alex Cataford did not see their contracts extended.

Promising American rider Matthew Riccitello is among several young riders coming on for 2023.

With his one-year deal with IPT secured late in the year, Schultz is motivated to hit the ground running in his new colors in 2023, in what will be his seventh year as a pro.

“I’m really grateful to IPT for offering me a contract so late in the year,” Schultz said. “I hope to play an important role in helping the team wherever I can and also be ambitious trying to achieve some results to repay the confidence that the team showed in me. All in all, I’m just really looking forward to being with everybody at the races and getting stuck in.”