Israel Premier-Tech, a predictable relegation to ProTeam?

December 2019. In Tel Aviv, Sylvan Adams presented in front of the cameras the team Israel Start-Up Nation. The billionaire israeli-Canadian had just bought the license of the defunct team Katusha to directly integrate the WorldTour level. With the transfers ofAndre Greipelor Dan Martin, the owner showed the ambition to be part of the best teams in the elite. Three years later, the Israeli project goes off the rails with relegation to the ProTeam division (20th in theInternational Cycling Union). The successive arrivals of Chris Froomefour-time winner of the Tour de France, Michael Woods et Jakob Birdsong have not made it possible to raise the level ofIsrael Premier-Tech. With 17 victories obtained but only four in the queen category, the bottom of the UCI ranking has not converted its investments into sporting success.

Video – Poor record for Israel-Premier Tech by Chris Froome

Michael Woods and Jakob Fuglsang mark time

36 years for Michael Woods37 pour Jakob Birdsong. The weight of age begins to win the two leaders ofIsrael-Premier Tech who have not made it possible to maintain their team in the WorldTour circuit, despite a jump that occurred in June. The two men achieved the double at the Mercan Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes with a win of Jakob Birdsong. In the process, his Canadian teammate won during the Route of Occitania (general classification + stage victory). Both aligned with the Tour de France, the two climbers do not finish. One affected by Covid-19, the second injured following a fall. Then in difficulty to get out of the red lantern place, the end of the season produced no results and UCI points at Woods et Birdsong.

Chris Froome continues to fight

He doesn’t let go. At 37, Chris Froome is an example of the champion who pushes his limits for the love of his sport. The four-time winner of Tour de France climbs the slope since his accident in 2019 at the Dauphine Criterium. A clearing appeared last July on his favorite race. Second in Alpe d’Huez behind his compatriot Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), after a breakaway stage, Froome lifted its head above water by winning its first podium in three years. If he doesn’t finish the Tourthe Kenyan blanc chained the kilometers by participating a month later in the return (114e in general).

With 60 days of racing on the clock, Froome had a full season. Symbolically, he has become an ambassador of Tour on the occasion of an Asian tour alongside Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). While Vincent Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan Team) et Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) hung up at the end of the season, Froome continue. “Fighting the young wolves is getting harder and harder, but I still have a lot of motivation and I feel like I can still achieve something. No, I haven’t said my last word yet.”

The successful Tour de France with Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle

The great positive point of the seasonIsrael Premier-Tech remains two victories acquired at the Tour de France. For its third participation, the team israeli opened its counter in the big world event. The experienced Simon Clarke signed a great performance on the cobblestone stage by slipping into the morning breakaway and managing to beat in the sprint Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materials).

Revengeful success for the Australian who fought to return among the best after an off-season full of uncertainties. “After the winter that I experienced, without a contract for 2022, finding myself here with this team which gave me another chance, it exceeds what I had hoped for. You have to seize every opportunity, that’s what I did today, that’s what I’ve tried to do in every race since the start of the season”. Two weeks later, Hugo Houle landed his first major success. The Canadian won in Foix at the end of the 16th stage and became the second rider from his country to raise his arms.

Nizzolo, Vanmarcke, De Marchi… The innkeepers set back

However, the big victories in the Tour were not enough to Israel-Premier Tech out of the red zone. Less regular against its direct competitors in the hunt for UCI points, the formation of Rik Verbrugge pays for the lack of results from their managers. James Nizzolo appears in 89th place in the individual ranking (712 pts) tied with Birdsong. The Italian sprinter continued to accumulate places of honor in his national races: Tyrrhenian-Adriatic (two top 10) or the Tour of Italy (two top 5). His second half of the season was complicated after a broken collarbone.

Sep Vanmarcke has returned to success… after three years of scarcity! But his victory in the first edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic does not mask the discreet season of the Belgian who no longer weighs on the Flandrian classics. At last, Alessandro DeMarchi did not ride its 2021 form this year, despite a slight jump in the second half of the season.

An academy at half mast, will Dylan Teuns be able to do everything?

Sylvan Adams did not digest the relegation of his team to ProTeam. The owner regrets the three-year points system set up by the UCI. “The relegationit’s death, and it doesn’t matter which teams are going to be relegated. It’s an existential problem.” he explained to Cyclingnews. The descent being recorded, he goes to need remobilize the troops from 2023 on the side of the management which profoundly changed its technical staff (arrival of Sam Bewley and of René Mandri). In an aging workforce where the average age of leaders is 35, Israel Premier Tech struggles to pass young talents into his academy.

On the transfer side, the Israeli team has recorded many departures like the French Rudy Barbier (St Michel – Auber 93), the Norwegian Carl Fredrik Hagen (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) and the British Alex Dowsett (retirement). Among the new ones, the arrival of Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) during the season should bring significant results for the WorldTour race which will be held in 2025. But the Belgian will have a lot of work to recover from his new team.

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