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Bahrain Victorious Line Up for Tour de France

June 26th marks the start of the 108th edition of the Tour de France. Team Bahrain Victorious head to the race with a strong line-up and momentum off the back of a strong performance at the Giro d’Italia.

Jack Haig leads the line-up, with GC ambitions following his solid performance at the Dauphine. Along with GC ambitions, the team is positioned to race proactively with potential stage winners, such as 2019 stage winner Dylan Teuns, Sonny Colbrelli off the back of an impressive performance at the Dauphiné, and Matej Mohorič, who showed his versatility at the Tour of Slovenia. Wout Poels and Pello Bilbao line up to support in the high mountains. Two riders who have demonstrated they can place high in the GC, evident by their top 10 finishes in Grand Tours last year. For the flat stages, experienced road captain Marco Haller and young Fred Wright will provide their support.

The Route
The 21 stage race starts in Brest, covering 3,383 kilometres before the iconic finish on the Champs Elysee in Paris. In between, the race will feature two Time Trials, with the second on the penultimate stage, like last year’s edition.

Two fast finishes on the opening stages that suit puncheurs and versatile climbers – an early opportunity for Sonny or Dylan to move into Yellow. The first GC battle starts on Stage 5, with a 27.2 kilometre Time Trial from Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne.

Stage 9 will be the hardest of the stages ahead of the first rest day. The riders take on five categorised climbs, with a gruelling finish up the 21-kilometre climb of Montée de Tignes, averaging 5.6%. From there, Stage 11 will be another testing day, as riders climb the iconic Mont Ventoux twice, with the second route to the top being a 15.7-kilometre climb averaging 8.8%.

The GC battle will be in full force with two back to back summit finishes on Stages 17 and 18. Stage 17 from Muret goes over two cat 1 climbs before the Hors Categorie climb Col du Portet, 16 kilometres long averaging 8.7%. Things don’t get easier on stage 18 with a 130-kilometre stage, with two Hors Categorie climbs, finishing atop Luz Arididen.

The final fight for yellow, like last year, will come on the penultimate stage – a 30.8 kilometre Time Trial from Libourne to Saint Emilion. The flatter profile compared to last year may not see significant time gaps eaten up. However, it can still shake the final positions in the GC ahead of the final stage into Paris and ultimately decide this year’s winner.

Performance Director, Roger Hammond said: “The team comes to the Tour following great performances. Our selection of riders puts us in good stead to battle for GC and be proactive across other stages.

Obviously, after the Dauphiné, there was the temptation to take Mark Padun to the Tour. The same goes for Gino Mäder after his Giro and Tour de Suisse wins. However, these are young talents in the team with other goals this season, and the team has a responsibility to look at the longer-term project for these riders.”

Sport Director, Rolf Aldag commented on the selection and race strategy: “The whole team is super motivated to entertain fans of cycling all around the world with an aggressive way of racing. The TDF is the biggest stage for us to show our passion, commitment and desire to race. We take a lot of confidence into the Tour from the results we achieved as a team in 2021 and will fight to keep the spirit high. Our team is prepared to take on every single stage, like one-day races. The eight riders who are representing the team all showed that they deserve a place in the race, but let’s not forget our strong riders who are serving as reserves, for now, ready to jump-in, in case we need them.”

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

The ISN lineup for Tour de France 2021

Israel Start-Up Nation is ready to take on the team’s second Tour de France with eight strong riders focusing on both the general classification as well as stage wins throughout the race.

After a tough selection process, the team is proud to announce the following lineup for the Tour:

Michael Woods
Dan Martin
Chris Froome
Omer Goldstein
André Greipel
Reto Hollenstein
Guillaume Boivin
Rick Zabel

Sports manager, Rik Verbrugghe: “It’s never easy to make the final selection for the Tour de France. Every rider has his own skill set to offer and we need to bring them all together, working as a team. This is not just about selecting one rider. We have to select a whole group that works well together towards a common goal throughout the three weeks.”

“To start out, Mike will be our main rider for the GC as Dan already did the Giro. But of course, if Dan can add to that tally in the Tour, it will be perfect for us. In fact, we will take on the Tour similar to how we did the Giro, only that we now have two riders to protect. Looking at the team we are bringing, I fully believe we will put our mark on the race.”

Michael Woods: “I am really excited to represent Israel Start-Up Nation in the Tour de France, especially in a team leader role. I have had an opportunity to lead a team in a Grand Tour before, but never at the Tour de France. I am honored to be given this position, especially considering the quality of the team we have.”
“I love racing GC. It’s really challenging and doing it in the Tour is even more challenging, more intense, and much more stressful. But the way I am riding these days, I am up to the challenge. And with the team that we have, we will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Omer Goldstein: “I love to be part of the game. Of course, the Tour de France is the biggest race of them all and the stress in the peloton will be different. However, I am confident that I am ready to help the team and to have an impact on our quest to support Mike and get a stage win.”

For more information about the ISN lineup for the Tour de France, as well as comments from all the selected riders, make sure to check out our dedicated TDF page here.

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

Bob Jungels out of the Tour de France and Luxembourg Championships

Bob Jungels will not participate in the Tour de France (June 26 – July 18) nor in the Luxembourg Championships where he was to take part in the time trial (Friday) and the road race (Sunday). In fact, he has been suffering for several weeks from muscular pains in his lower limbs which have prevented him from regaining his physical level of the past seasons. “The first tests showed that it could be a vascular abnormality called arterial endofibrosis affecting the iliac artery. The decision to have surgery should be taken in the coming days,” explained Eric Bouvat, medical director of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM.

Vincent Lavenu

“I am sorry and sad for Bob who is a champion whose normal level we know well, in addition to his sporting and human qualities. We were looking forward to hitting the roads of the Tour de France with him. He has been experiencing physical difficulties since the start of the season and now we know how to fix it. I am convinced that once rid of these worries, he will perform well with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM”Vincent

Bob Jungels : « Une immense déception »

«It is a huge disappointment to have to give up the Tour de France which would have been my first time there with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, as well as my national championships and the Olympic Games. I had a difficult start to the season physically but also mentally because I was keen to shine, but I was never at the level I wanted to be. At the Tour de Suisse, I was very happy with my 18th place in the time trial on the first stage. Then the pain that I had felt for several years when I was pushing hard came back steadily. Medical examinations confirmed the diagnosis I was anticipating. On the one hand, I am relieved because I now know why my performances have been irregular for three seasons, on the other hand it is a huge disappointment. I thank the staff and the riders of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM for their support. I will be their number 1 fan on the roads of the Tour de France… while waiting to find my place in the peloton again as quickly as possible.»Bob

The number

8

The final list of the eight riders selected for the Tour de France will be unveiled on Monday morning. No communication will be made regarding this subject on Sunday after the various national championships.

— Kevin Bottin to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

Martin set to go to ninth Tour de France and return to Mûr de Bretagne

Let’s go back to 2018 when Dan Martin attacks with 1.2 kilometers to the finish line on the Mûr de Bretagne. His competitors try to follow but give up. Martin, being chased by Pierre Latour and, a few moments later, by Alejandro Valverde, looks back a few times in the last hundred meters. He is too strong, his opponents come too late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3PjVXJZy5w

It is revenge for 2015 when Martin was beaten by Alexis Vuillermoz on that very same climb. “I thought I would give it a try, so I did, and the legs kept going,” he would say about his 2018 success after celebrating over the line.

In 2021, Dan Martin will return to the Mûr de Bretagne (stage 2), as he is selected for his ninth Tour de France, this time in the #BlueAndWhite colors of Israel Start-Up Nation.

About the Mûr, he says, “It is indeed a climb that suits me and that I like. I am looking forward to returning to it.”

The Irishman, a stage winner in all three Grand Tours since the Giro of this year, will have a free role in Israel Start-Up Nation’s team. He can rely on the support of his teammates on stages like the one on day two in the Tour.

Having the Giro in the legs does not feel like a disadvantage for the climber. Martin elaborates, “With the right balance of training and recovery, I think having done the Giro can be beneficial, rather than a disadvantage.”

“Together with Paulo Saldanha from PowerWatts, I feel like we found that right balance very well.”

“I took training a little bit easier after the Giro, and I have done more intensity over the last few trainings. I feel recovered and ready to race,” the two-time stage winner in the Tour de France says.

Tour of the Alps 2021 – 45th Edition – 5th stage Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda 120,9 km – 23/04/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

“Racing my ninth Tour de France is something I was planning from the beginning of the season and I am happy that I am racing it, especially as it brings me back to the Mûr.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

IT’S OFFICIAL : OMER GOLDSTEIN TO THE TOUR DE FRANCE

His childhood dream realized :

Israeli champion Omer Goldstein will race in the Tour de France 

His TDF will “start” early: First, he will fight to defend his champion’s jersey this Saturday in Israel.

Rik Verbrugghe : “Omer is an ‘offensive’ rider.  He will help us in breakaways and much more.”

Omer: “I want to be ‘in the Game’”

Tells about a special bond with Froome : “He gave me a lot of tips and advice. He is a great fighter. Will surprise many.”

 

Criterium du Dauphine 2021 – 73rd Edition – 8th stage La Lechere Les-Bains – Les Gets 147 km – 06/06/2021 – Omer Goldstein (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Nico Vereecken/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Israeli champion Omer Goldstein (24) will race for Israel Start-Up Nation in the Tour de France.

It will be the first time that the versatile Israeli puncher from the north of Israel will race on the most prominent racing stage in the world, fulfilling what he called, “A dream I had since I was a kid. I always imagined myself being there in the front in a mountain stage breakaway, going for it, not really concerned if they catch me or not, as long as I am going full gas and giving it all.”

In a way, this combative approach to racing is one of the reasons that the team’s pro-management decided that the young Goldstein will be an excellent fit for ISN’s lineup in the Tour this year. “Omer is what I call an ‘offensive rider’,” explained Rik Verbrugghe, ISN’s sports manager. “He is always ready to jump on a challenge with absolutely no fear. But much beyond that, we selected Omer because he can give the team a lot in the Tour in so many ways. Of course, his main task will be to assist our leader, Mike Woods, but he can be our man in a breakaway and, if the opportunity comes, he can get a great result. And in mid-range mountain stages, he can be there in a selected group going to the finish. Omer has shown significant progress, and he fully deserves our trust in him.”

Indeed, in every stage that he raced this year – from the UAE Tour to the Tour of Catalunya to Dauphine – Goldstein has proved to be one of the most aggressive riders in the ISN lineup. “I love to be part of the game,” explained Omer. “Of course, the Tour de France is the biggest race of all, and the stress in the peloton will be different. But I am confident that I am ready to help the team and have an impact on our quest to support Mike and get a stage win.”

Omer has developed a special bond with the TDF legend, Chris Froome, this season, spending weeks together in altitude training camps and racing alongside each other in a four-stage race. He said he is enthusiastic and proud to race with Froome in the Tour, saying “I respect him so much, he has been a quiet mentor. Advising me. Talking to me about the little details that can make a difference. I just love to race and train with Froomey. He is such a great fighter. Never underestimate him. He is on the up and I believe can surprise in the Tour.”

His first challenge, though, will arise this coming Saturday, a whole week before the Tour: the Israeli championships. This will be the scene of a great battle between ISN’s top Israelis for the title that is owned (for three more days) by Omer: “I want to represent my country in the Tour, wearing the champions jersey,” said Omer. “I will do my best to defend my title Saturday, but I can guarantee nothing. My Israeli teammates will do everything to win it, and that’s how it should be.”

 

Omer’s most enthusiastic and proudest fan in the Tour will be, no doubt, the team’s co-owner, Sylvan Adams, who said, “Omer’s rapid progress as a rider has validated all of ISN’s efforts in developing Israeli cyclists. Omer graduated just a couple of years ago from our U23 Israel Cycling Academy to become a solid WorldTour pro. He will race in his first Tour de France as invaluable support to team leader, Mike Woods. Yalla Omer, all of Israel will be watching and rooting for you!”

 

Criterium du Dauphine 2021 – 73rd Edition – 2nd stage Brioude – Saugues 172.8 km – 31/05/2021 – Omer Goldstein (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

 

 

— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com

Chris Froome ready for first Tour de France with ISN

Israel Start-Up Nation is proud to announce that four-time Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, will line up for this year’s Tour in the blue and white colors of ISN.

“Chris will be our road captain in this year’s Tour de France. As a four-time winner of the Tour, the value of his experience cannot be underestimated. It will be extremely useful for the team during the race”, said sports manager Rik Verbrugghe.

“On a performance level, I believe that we will see another improvement from the Dauphiné to the Tour after our recent training camp in the Alps. We hope to see Chris progress stage by stage throughout the race.”

With seven Grand Tour victories and 14 Grand Tour stage wins to his name, Froome is one of the most acclaimed GC riders of his generation. This year’s edition of the Tour marks his return to the race after a career-threatening accident two years ago.

“After two years away from the Tour de France I can’t wait to get back. It has been an arduous journey since my crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019, but this has been one of my biggest motivations”, Froome explains.

“I’ve been working tirelessly to get to where I am, and although my ambitions this year won’t be as leader, I hope to add my experience and support to the team as best I can as road captain. We have a strong contender in Michael Woods, and I look forward to giving my all for him and the team in the battle to Paris.”

We will continue to announce our Tour de France lineup throughout this week. Make sure to follow the ISN social media channels to stay updated.

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

The AG2R CITROËN TEAM joins the Tour de France caravan

The AG2R CITROËN TEAM will be present in the publicity caravan for the first time during this 108th edition of the Tour de France. This project, born from the common will of the team and its title partners, aims to promote the new identity and strengthen the link between the AG2R CITROËN TEAM and the fans of the Tour de France. This 2021 edition will be special because it will mark the return of the Grande Boucle to its more usual summer dates and also because once again there will be spectators on the roadside. Consequently, the team would like to participate in the celebrations generated by the promotional caravan. Two vehicles: a Citroën C5 Aircross PHEV and a Jumper equipped with a Caselani Type H kit in the team’s colors will travel the roads of France. Accompanying the cars will be five caravanners who will bring the values and friendliness of the team loud and clear to the spectators.

The number

100 000

This is the number of sponge bracelets that our five caravanners will distribute to spectators throughout the 3,414 kilometers of the Tour de France. AG2R CITROËN TEAM has chosen to offer a useful object, reusable by everyone and for all activities. This sponge bracelet has a small pocket with a zipper, ideal for securing your keys while hiking, cycling or any other activity. In addition to these bracelets, 5,000 replica team jerseys will be distributed.

The news

A team close to the fans

We have a varied, dynamic, and expert team that will meet the spectators on the side of the roads. Several French territories will be represented: the experienced Nicolas, 31, caravan leader comes from Paris, two animators, Adrien, 32, and Maylis, 25, come from Isère and Savoie. They will be the voices of this caravan. And finally, Xavier, 39, from Île-de-France and Laurie, 36, from Isère, each with several Tours de France to their credit, will complete this first AG2R CITROËN TEAM caravan.

Emmanuel Chazalet, Deputy Director of Communications at AG2R LA MONDIALE.

“We are very proud to participate in this project, the result of joint work between the team, CITROËN and AG2R LA MONDIALE. It’s true, the caravan is the travelling emblem of the Tour de France, but our brand had never been present there. This is a great opportunity to strengthen the proximity of the team and our brand to the public”

Laurent Barria, CITROËN Marketing and Communication Director

“For our first participation in the Tour de France, it seems essential to us to forge strong links with all the enthusiasts who follow the race throughout its course. Also, participating in the caravan in the colors of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM is a great opportunity to bring the team closer to the public and hold high our colours and Citroën’s values.”

— Kevin Bottin to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

The first six riders chosen for the Tour de France 2021

This Thursday, June 10th, Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R CITROËN Team, revealed the names of the first six riders selected for the Tour de France 2021 (June 26 -18 July). Also present for the unveiling were representatives from his title partners CITROËN and AG2R LA MONDIALE. The final two riders will be announced after the national championships on June 20th

Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R CITROËN Team

“This team will combine experience and youth. It has an abundance of talent, drive, and is capable of the greatest successes, whether we are hunting for stages or focusing on achieving the best possible position in the general classification with riders like Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Ben O’Connor. I can’t wait to be at the start in Brest with these riders”

André Renaudin, General Manager of AG2R LA MONDIALE

“These first riders who have been selected by Vincent Lavenu make it clear that it will be a very good team that shares the same values, particularly a commitment to their performance and a team solidarity. Everyone at the AG2R LA MONDIALE company will be behind them to support and encourage them throughout the Tour de France. We hope to see at least one of our riders raise his arms in victory on one or more stages. »

Vincent Cobée, CEO of Citroën

“The riders selected by Vincent Lavenubring together a wealth of talent, experience and fighting spirit, combined with the team spirit essential to succeed in a competition as demanding as the Tour de France. The men and women of Citroën and its network will be wholeheartedly with them to make our colours shine on the stages of the Tour. »

BENOÎT COSNEFROY

25 years old
France
3rd participation
Wore the King of the Mountains jersey for 15 days in 2020

“After a start to the season that was thwarted by knee pain, Benoît has regained his best level thanks to his fighting temperament.We know he can bring us great joys and be one of the top French riders for the Tour de France 2021.”

BOB JUNGELS

28 years old
Luxembourg
4th participation
11th in 2018

“Bob has great talent and has a solid track record. When he’s at his best, he has the ability to win the best races.
We will count on his experience and his physical strength to shine at the Tour.”

OLIVER NAESEN

30 years old
Belgium
6th participation

“Oliver has been a part of the team since 2017 thanks to his talent and good humor. He has often finished highly placed in stages and has also been invaluable when we have needed to position and protect our leaders at key moments. This will again be an important attribute when we are crossing France from east to west in the first week.”

BEN O’CONNOR

25 years old
Australia
First participation

“Ben is a very talented rider who has shown great things in tough races like the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné. We already knew his qualities as a rider, especially since he won a stage last year at the Giro. Subsequently, though, we have found him to be a delightful man who should certainly shine in his Tour debut.”

AURÉLIEN PARET-PEINTRE

25 years old
France
First participation

“Aurélien will ride his first Grande Boucle after having had a very encouraging first part of the season, which included a victory at the GP La Marseillaise. He will go with the general classification in mind, but without setting a specific goal. We will count on him being strong in the mountains, and who knows, maybe be able to go for a stage victory.”

GREG VAN AVERMAET

36 years
Belgium
9th participation
3 stage victories 2015 (TTT), 2016 and 2018.
Wore the yellow jersey 2016 (3 days) and 2018 (8 days)

“Greg came to the team preceded by his reputation and immediately fit in with ease. He has already won stages and worn the yellow jersey at the Tour. This will again be his goal with us, while also playing the mentoring role of “older brother”, which is a role he does wonderfully.”

— Kevin Bottin to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com