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Second place for Itamar Einhorn on stage 2 of Cro Race

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, took second place in the bunch sprint of stage 2 of Cro Race after impeccable teamwork on the final kilometers.

Knowing that today’s stage would be another good chance for the fast men to test their legs, the ISN guys were eager to set up Einhorn for the final sprint. The team worked perfectly to put him in the best possible position and on the final meters, Einhorn came close to taking the win as he crossed the line in second place after Olav Kooij (Team Jumbo-Visma).

With today’s result, Einhorn is now third in general classification before tomorrow’s undulating stage 3.

Itamar Einhorn: “The team did a great job at the beginning of the stage to keep the early breakaway in check. On the hard climb, I suffered a lot and I lost contact with the group with around 300 meters to the top. However, I knew that this was a good chance for me and we chased hard to get back. In the final, the guys did an amazing good job to keep me at the front. I was in a good position and I started my sprint with 200 meters to go and I came very close. To be honest, I didn’t really feel I had a great day today so second place was probably the best I could get.”

In fact, Einhorn’s second place marks a special day for the team as Omer Goldstein also made Top 10 today on stage 2 of Giro di Sicilia, showing the massive progress the Israeli riders have made in recent years.

ISN general manager, Kjell Carlström: “It’s great to see the progress our Israeli riders have made over the last couple of years. To have both Omer and Itamar in the mix, fighting for the top positions in two different European races, really shows how far Israeli cycling has come. This is only the beginning.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

One for the history books: Einhorn books biggest career-win in the last stage in Slovakia

The 23-year-old Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, won the last stage in the Tour of Slovakia! It was the biggest victory in his career, especially given the competition he beat in the final few hundred meters of the race.

Einhorn beat three-time world champion Peter Sagan (second) and Cees Bol (third) in the sprint which was made up of a selected group of riders.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“We again raced exactly according to the plan we set before the race. We raced with the legs and with the brain, and it worked out perfectly today. I am very happy with this victory!”

The stage exploded early, but Einhorn digested the hilly and fast start very well. The wind began to play a role afterward. That’s when the Israeli sprinter moved into the breakaway that would make it all the way to the finish line.

The break contained most of the GC-contenders, and ISN’s Chris Froome and Krists Neilands.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Peter Sagan (SVK – Bora – Hansgrohe) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“The team did so well to get me in the breakaway. Chris and Krists then were phenomenal. They kept me sheltered from the wind in the open sections and gave me absolutely everything I needed to save energy for my sprint.”

The 23-year-old then launched his sprint from the wheel of Peter Sagan. He overtook him and left sprinters Kaden Groves and Cees Bol behind.

Neilands was the first one jumping into his arms after the finish. Soon after, Froome joined the party at the finish.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

Froome: “What a great day for Israel Start-Up Nation. It was great to be out there in the front with the three of us. I am very happy Einhorn could finish it off!”

Neilands: “What a fantastic day. We believed in him all the time. The way Itamar sprinted to the line was just impressive!”

Einhorn had already come close to a good result a few times in Slovakia. He showed his power in the prologue, finishing eleventh.

He then got sixth place in stage 1. In the second stage, the Israeli rider did not get a chance to sprint, as several riders crashed in front of him in the final. In stage 3 Einhorn was right there amongst the biggest sprinters: seventh. In the fourth stage, he beat them all.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Einhorn hunts for glory in explosive battles at Tour of Slovakia

An explosive prologue and an interesting first stage opened the Tour of Slovakia. Einhorn was very well in the mix.

With the knowledge that Einhorn got safely over the final climb in stage 1, Carl Fredrik Hagen gave it a good go and bridged the gap to the breakaway of the day. As he joined them, there were only two riders left from the original group of escapees.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 1st Stage Kosice – Kosice 158,4 km – 16/09/2021 – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

The three guys in the break defended a gap of twenty seconds over the peloton in which Israel Start-Up Nation didn’t have to bother about the chase. Chris Froome, Norman Vahtra, Krists Neilands, and Einhorn were very well positioned in the final twenty kilometers of racing, patiently waiting to see if Hagen would be caught or whether they could sprint for a stage victory.

After yesterday’s prologue, a stage win could have potentially put Einhorn in the leader’s jersey, as he was just a handful of seconds behind the leader after an impressive 1.6-kilometer-long effort in the streets of Kosice. However, competition is huge in Slovakia, with sprinters like Hodeg, Nizzolo, and local favorite Peter Sagan.

Hagen got reeled in with five kilometers to the line. From there, Froome, Neilands, and Norman brought Einhorn in the top-10 before the final turn. Einhorn was fast, overtook several competitors, and sprinted to sixth.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 1st Stage Kosice – Kosice 158,4 km – 16/09/2021 – Bora – Hansgrohe – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“I could rely on my teammates today,” Einhorn said after the finish. “We were well positioned, but it was a big battle for the first spots in the pack towards the final turn. Just before that, Norman got a little bit boxed in. I came from too far back to go for the podium, but I felt fast.”

The strong finish gave Einhorn morale for the next few stages. “Tomorrow there is another chance. As a team, we are capable of doing better than the sixth place, and the second stage is a good one to prove it so.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Einhorn and Neilands return to racing in Tour de Slovaquie

Israel Start-Up Nation returns to Slovakia. The team has good memories from the Okolo Slovenska, as Rudy Barbier won the final stage last year. The French sprinter will not start this Tour de Slovaquie and the race will feature the return of Itamar Einhorn.

 

The Israeli sprinter will race for the first time since (nearly) finishing the Vuelta a España. He says that teammates told him that doing a Grand Tour can make a rider significantly stronger. “I cannot wait to find out whether they were correct,” Einhorn says ahead of the Tour de Slovaquie.

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 12th stage Jaen – Cordoba 175 km – 26/08/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

“I am feeling good in training,” he continues, “and I am curious whether the race speed will feel the same or whether it will feel easier after doing the Vuelta. Anyway, I am ready to sprint for results.”

 

Einhorn will be accompanied by his fellow countryman Yuval Ben Moshe, who normally races for the U23 continental Israel Cycling Academy team. “I am in good shape,” Ben Moshe says. “I hope to help whenever the team needs me. I feel like we are going to have a lot of fun and I hope we can win.”

 

Chris Froome, Carl Fredrik Hagen, and Krists Neilands will also appear at the start line in Slovakia. They will be aiming for the harder stages in the race.

La Fleche Wallonne 2021 – 85th Edition – Charleroi – Mur de Huy 193,6 km – 21/04/2021 – Krists Neilands (LAT – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

 

Neilands is coming back from a lower back injury and says he feels like it is fully healed up. The Latvian said, “Finally. I am happy to be back in the peloton. I am sure racing in Slovakia will be exciting, as we are bringing a nice team that can battle in each stage for results.”

 

“Personally, I hope to be up there with the best during the tougher stages.”

 

Sports director Rene Andrle agrees with Neilands, “We have a diverse team indeed, so I expect my riders to be active in each stage.”

Deutschland Tour 2021 – 36th Edition – 2nd stage Sangerhausen – Ilmenau 180.6 km – 27/08/2021 – Chris Froome (GBR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roth/BettiniPhoto©2021

 

Norman Vahtra and Taj Jones make it seven for Israel Start-Up Nation in Slovakia.

 

The Tour de Slovaquie opens with a prologue of 1.6 kilometers this Wednesday, and finishes Sunday.

 

ISN’s line-up for the Tour de Slovaquie (15/09 – 19/09):

  • Itamar Einhorn
  • Carl Fredrik Hagen
  • Chris Froome
  • Taj Jones
  • Krists Neilands
  • Norman Vahtra
  • Yuval Ben Moshe

Sports directors: Rene Andrle and Nicki Sørensen

 

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Einhorn makes top-10 once again in the Vuelta

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Itamar Einhorn showed his consistency in bunch sprints at the highest level as he took seventh place on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España.

Prior to the start of the stage, the team plan was clear: Go all in for Einhorn, hoping that he could make podium in the expected bunch sprint. The ISN guys all rallied around the Israeli sprinter, keeping him out of trouble during the scalding hot 203 km long stage from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena.

As the early breakaway got caught and the teams of the sprinters started setting a frantic pace at the front of the peloton, Guy Niv and Sep Vanmarcke did an impeccable job keeping Einhorn in position. However, on the last two kilometers, the peloton split up at the front, leaving just a handful of riders with a gap on the rest.

Einhorn fought hard to move up to get into contention again but ultimately, two of the riders from the small group ahead managed to make it all the way and sprint for the win while Einhorn had to settle for seventh place. A bittersweet result for the 23-year-old as he had hoped for more, but he’s still very content with his second top-10 in his first Grand Tour.

Itamar Einhorn: “I’m happy I got another top-10 for me and for the team. It was really hot out there today and my teammates really supported me perfectly. We were very well-positioned coming in from the big road but then everybody took that right-hand turn really fast and me and Sep lost a bit of positions.

“Sep tried to bring me back to the front but at that moment, it was just one long line of about 30 riders. All I could do was try to improve my position. I saw there was a gap at the front and I hoped that other teams would close it. In the end, I gave it all I had and I finished seventh. It’s a good result but this was really a crazy sprint.”

ISN sprint coach, Greg Henderson: “This is the first time I’m working with Itamar on one-on-one but I saw him sprinting in Vuelta a Burgos earlier this month and I said to the performance group there and then that his timing and positioning is actually perfect. We just have to work on making it a complete package now.

“This Vuelta is his first opportunity at the highest level and even without a full lead-out train, he’s consistently up there around top-5 in the bunch sprints that he’s contenting. It’s exciting to see him going up against the best in the world here.

“He’s doing very, very well for himself and he’s getting a lot of respect in the peloton for the way he’s doing it. I’m really excited for the future as I think he has made a lot of progression and there is still room for more. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com