Israel Start-Up Nation will compete in the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. For the first edition of the stage race on Sardinia, the team brings Ben Hermans as its GC-competitor, Rudy Barbier in the role of sprinter, and two Israeli riders: Guy Niv and Guy Sagiv.
The Italian race features five stages. It will be ‘race on’ for Hermans as GC-contender directly from the opening stage, while Barbier will be looking forward to the third and final stages.
The Belgian climber was on a roll at the end of last month when he won the Giro dell’Appennino and finished on the podium in the Gran Premio di Lugano.
“From there I was able to keep on working on my fitness,” Hermans said before the start of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. “There are no real uphill finishes this week on Sardinia, but the parcours seems diverse enough to make differences.”
The two Israelis in the lineup both spent a lot of time at altitude, during ISN’s training camp in Livigno. The stage race on Sardinia is their first race after the camp.
Guy Niv, the first Israeli rider to finish the Tour de France, worked on his shape during that camp. “After finishing the Giro d’Italia, I rested well, did the national championships in Israel, and then started preparing for my second part of the season. I am looking back on a successful training camp in Livigno. I find racing in Italy always fun, so I am excited to race again.”
Guy Sagiv is also looking forward to the second part of his season. Just like Niv, he competed in the Israeli national championships before starting his build-up towards mid- and late-season goals. “Livigno was good to me,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on the bike and finished a very good training block at altitude. A training camp like we had there is exactly the impulse I need to be ready for another block of racing.”
Barbier returns to racing after two months without. “It has been a long time, indeed, which makes me very keen on pinning a bib number on.” Barbier was also in Livigno. “I have enjoyed my time and I am ready to race.”
Israel Start-Up Nation’s line up for Settimana Ciclistica Italiana (14/07 – 18/07):
- Guy Niv
- Guy Sagiv
- Ben Hermans
- Sep Vanmarcke
- Rudy Barbier
- Sebastian Berwick
- Krists Neilands
Sports directors: Claudio Cozzi & Dror Pekatch
— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com