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Fuglsang and Houle join ISN in 2022

  • Danish GC strongman and “proven winner” Jakob Fuglsang joins ISN.
  • The team has also signed Canadian TT champion Hugo Houle.
  • ISN Co-Owner Sylvan Adams: “We are delighted to sign a proven winner – Fuglsang, and a fine pro – Houle.”
  • ISN’s team manager Kjell Carlstrom: “Fuglsang is one of the leading GC riders. This signing will significantly strengthen us.”
  • Fuglsang: “I still got big wins left in me!”
  • Houle: “Feels like I am coming home.”

Israel Start-Up Nation is strengthening its roster with the signings of Jakob Fuglsang and Hugo Houle who will join the team in 2022. Both riders have signed a three-year contract with ISN.

“We are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our team, and with these two new riders, we feel we have accomplished that,” ISN’s general manager Kjell Carlstrom says. “For a few years, Jakob Fuglsang has been up there with the best GC riders in the world, and he still is. To add another rider to our GC team with such capacities is definitely broadening our possibilities for great results, especially in week-long stage races. And with Hugo, we have got a strong helper who has shown how valuable he can be for his teammates, getting the team in the correct position at the right time.”

Jakob Fuglsang. Credit: Bettini Photo

As a renowned stage racer and winner of multiple Monuments, Fuglsang (36) needs no introduction. The versatile Dane has been among the very top riders for over a decade and he’s far from finished. As a vital part of the strong GC group on ISN next year, Fuglsang aims to return to his best level in 2022 to win races and help his teammates succeed.

Jakob Fuglsang: “I’m very happy and excited to join ISN. I believe it’s a good time for me to try something new and I believe that ISN and I can benefit a lot from each other. I think that I can make good use of my experience in the team and help the team to reach some of its future goals. I’m convinced that I still have some big wins left in me and, of course, the Tour de France Grand Depart from Denmark next year will be a big goal.”

ISN’s Co-Owner, Sylvan Adams, expressed his enthusiasm about the additions of Fuglsang and Houle, and his confidence that they will bolster the team roster: “Jakob is a proven winner, with wins in Monuments, stage races and Grand Tour stages. On ISN, he will essentially be replacing a rider with quite similar qualities, the great Dan Martin, who is retiring after this year.”

Adams also welcomed fellow Canadian, Houle: “We go way back, as I personally raced against Hugo when he was a Junior (he was super strong). Later, Hugo raced for the Canadian SpiderTech Pro Conti team, which I supported. Hugo has developed into a fine pro, and, as I expressed to him after he signed with us, he’s come home and will race with his fellow Canadian buddies, Mike Woods and Guillaume Boivin. Welcome to ISN Jacob and Hugo!”

Houle (31) is known as a strong rouleur, able to shine in most terrains, as well as an invaluable teammate for his designated leaders. He is also the reigning Canadian time trial champion, meaning that ISN will have both Canadian champion jerseys on the team next year as Guillaume Boivin won the road race last month.

The 2022 campaign will be Houle’s 12th season in the professional peloton after starting his career on the Canadian SpiderTech team in 2011, thereby coming full circle as SpiderTech is also an import partner for Israel Start-Up Nation.

Hugo Houle: “After four years at team Astana-Premier Tech, this new challenge brought me a new motivation for the coming season. I am really excited to join ISN. I want to thank Sylvan Adams for this opportunity to come home. It’s natural to join him, as he contributed to developing Canadian cycling with the SpiderTech team and support in the World Championships. I’m sure the team will provide me with the best environment to keep progressing as a rider in the coming season and contribute to ISN’s success.”

Hugo Houle Credit: Bettini Photo

— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com

Hugo Houle crowned Canadian ITT champion – Astana

Hugo Houle crowned Canadian ITT champion

Hugo Houle claimed the second Canadian individual time trial championship of his career today with an impressive race against the clock in Beauce, Quebec.

30-year-old Houle, who previously won the national title in 2015, completed the 34-kilometre course in 41:18 to set the fastest time by 1:39 over Alexander Cowan (LE9ion of Los Angeles).

“I’m really happy to win the Canadian time trial championships again and have the chance to wear the jersey. A lot of people expected me to win the race so it put quite a bit of pressure on me to deliver. You never know what kind of legs you will have on the day but after I started the effort, around five to six minutes in, I could feel my legs were good and I was on a good day. The first part of the course was a bit up hill, a lot of up and down, so I knew I had to go really strong on the way out. At the halfway point after 17 kilometres, I caught the rider in front and I could see the other riders were quite close. So, on the way back, I gave everything. Because you don’t have much information in the race and you never know if someone will have a good second half, you have to go all in,” said Houle.

 

“I came here with the idea of winning and I’m really proud to win today, especially as it’s important for Premier Tech and they have supported me for so long. I haven’t been able to race the Championships for a few years because I have always been preparing for the Tour de France when they are normally held in June so this year, with the race postponed to September, it worked out perfectly. Tomorrow, I have the road race and I will try my best to win. Of course, it is much harder to control the race when you are only one rider but I will do my best.”

Houle will line up for the road race on Saturday, looking to bring both Canadian national championship jerseys to the WorldTour.

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com