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ISN’s heroic racing in spectacular Paris-Roubaix results in 8th and 9th

If we had to describe every single noteworthy moment in this year’s Paris-Roubaix (ISN’s first one ever), this race report would be a novel or a thriller. Therefore, we’re summing it up:

There were mud pools, treacherous cobbles, plenty of rain, unavoidable punctures, crashes, comebacks, attacks and counterattacks, and, most of all, an impressive Israel Start-Up Nation – from the gun.

 

They were hardly recognizable, barely distinguishable one from another, the competitors in Paris-Roubaix right after the first cobbled sector. Their faces expressed pain and suffering in their purest forms. Their kits, with the team colors covered in mud, were as brown as the farm fields they were riding through and their bikes were even dirtier, like pigs that had been playing in dirt pools. This Paris-Roubaix was worse than the regular ‘hell of the north’.

 

A fantastic Tom van Asbroeck was ISN’s top-finisher, ending up in eighth position. “This was the hardest day of my career, and that’s an understatement. In general, Paris-Roubaix is a very tough race, but with these conditions, it’s another level. The mud pools, the rain, and how treacherous the cobbles were, made it so incredibly hard,” he said after the finish.

 

Team Israel Cycling Academy
118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 (1.UWT)
One day race from Compiègne to Roubaix (FRA) (257.7km)
©kramon

Van Asbroeck made it into the early breakaway and turned out to be one of the strongest of the 31 riders in the front. The family man, with his face covered in mud, rode over the cobbles like the road was freshly paved.

 

Behind him, it was two strong oxen bringing Vanmarcke back to the group of the peloton before Trouée d’Arenberg (100 km to go in the race) after a mechanical. Their names: Guillaume Boivin and Jenthe Biermans.

 

Team Israel Cycling Academy
118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 (1.UWT)
One day race from Compiègne to Roubaix (FRA) (257.7km)
©kramon

The Canadian champion himself fought into a second group with big names on that same cobbled section, showing off the Canadian national jersey (or what was still visible of it) in an extraordinary way. Bad luck then stroke Biermans, as he was caught behind a crash at a crucial point in the race.

 

Vanmarcke himself experienced highs and lows throughout the day, easily capable of following dangerous moves but having to fight back after lots of bad luck.

 

“I am proud of the team. Personally, I am disappointed that I could not deliver what I wanted,” he said.

 

Paris Roubaix 2021 -118th Edition – Denain – Roubaix 257,7 km – 03/10/2021 – Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Only on Mons-en-Pévèle, one of the hardest sectors, and after having already spent over 150 kilometers in the break, Van Asbroeck had to let the very front of the race go.

 

On the approach to another very hard sector, the Carrefour de l’Arbre, it nearly all came together at the front of the race. Unfortunately, that’s where things took a turn for the worse for team ISN, who had two of the five riders at the front of the race.

 

Boivin slipped away and lost connection. Van Asbroeck dropped as well. They joined the chasing group, still being in the game for one of the most memorable results in their respective careers.

 

“When I dropped, I just could not push any harder. I was empty”, Van Asbroeck said.

 

Boivin: “I just slipped away on one of the sections. I kept fighting afterward because I had amazing legs the whole day. That was disappointing because I do not get the chance to fight for the victory in a monument.”

 

Van Asbroeck was our top finisher in eighth. Boivin finished ninth, with a seriously bruised wrist.

 

Sports Director Dirk Demol: “I am so proud. And flabbergasted at the same time. I don’t have words. I need to let this sink in.”

 

Later he said: “Fantastic, also particularly from the staff!”

Photos: Sjors Beukeboom, Kramon Velophoto, Bettini Photos

#ParisRoubaix #YallaISN

 

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Greipel chosen to be ISN’s sprinter in Tour de France

Sprinting on the Champs-Élysées is something else. It is that last burst of power after 21 days of tough racing in the biggest cycling race in the world. It is that last chance to claim a very important stage victory while millions of people are watching live on television. It is that memory of winning in the city center of Paris that keeps André Greipel hungry. Hungry for racing his 11th Tour de France.

“I am proud to be part of this line-up, especially given the other strong riders in this team.”

Since 2011, his first Tour de France, André Greipel has not missed a single Tour. Eleven times he could celebrate over and after the finish line of a stage. From last year’s edition however, the German sprinter does not have many great memories, after having crashed severely in the wet and very slippery opening stage in Nice.

Seventeen stages Greipel kept going, trying to recover from the injuries sustained in that unfortunate moment in Nice. On the eighteenth day he could not hold on anymore, missing out on a chance of reliving his memories from 2015 and 2016 of winning on the Champs-Élysées.

Challenge Mallorca 2021 – Trofeo Alcudia-Port d’Alcudia – Alcudia – Alcudia 169 km – 16-05-2021 – Andre Greipel (GER – Israel Start-Up Nation) – Alexander Kristoff (NOR – UAE Team Emirates) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

He decided after that particular Grand Boucle to focus on the Giro d’Italia in 2021. However, after a sequence of events, Greipel finds himself in the Tour-squad once again.

“Not quite as planned beforehand,” Greipel says, “but not less fun. I feel very well in shape at the moment. I am ready for an 11th Tour de France.”

This season, we saw Greipel putting his arms in the air again in Spain. He won one of the races on Mallorca, then headed to the Ruta del Sol where he celebrated with ease in stage 4, after separating himself by multiple bike lengths from the runner-up.

The Tour de Suisse meant the German’s final preparation towards the Tour de France, where he will be Israel Start-Up Nation’s sprinter for the flat stages. He can rely on the full support of his teammates to chase a third stage victory this season.

One of those flat stages is, traditionally, the very final day in the Tour de France, and pretty much the most important day in a sprinter’s life: the final stretch on the Champs-Élysées. The feelings and emotions he remembers from those two experiences are a big motivation to go back to the Tour de France once again.

“Winning in Paris is something so special”, Greipel says. “Sprinting to a victory on the Champs-Élysées, the very last few hundred meters of the biggest cycling race in the world, is incomparable with any other sprint. That feeling is what drives me most.”

— admin to israelcyclingacademy.com

ISN’s Successful Giro: Pink, Stage Win and a Top-10 in GC

The last stage in the Giro d’Italia didn’t cause trouble for ISN: Dan Martin kept tenth place in the general classification.

With that top-10 from the Irishman, ISN can look back on a very successful trip around Italy. We had the pink jersey, we had a stage win, we saw Guy Niv step up his game another time, and we had multiple spots on the podium.

Ultimately, Dan’s good result in the GC resulted only in smiles from the riders and staff members.

Israeli climber Guy Niv looked back on his best Grand Tour, so far, in his career:

“I felt powerful all Giro long, and I am looking back positively on that day in the breakaway. I feel I made another step up this Giro and I cannot wait till the next race,” a motivated Niv said after finishing in Milan.

Matthias Brändle was ISN’s top finisher in today’s final time trial. He got ISN the 16th place.

Pics: Bettini

#YallaISN #Giro #RacingForChange

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com