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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

Ben Healy to join the team

EF Education-NIPPO CEO Jonathan Vaughters explains why Healy will be such an asset to the team. “His skill set is he knows how to get in breaks that make it to the line and he knows how to win out of those breaks once he’s in them. There aren’t that many guys that have that skill set. That’s the skill that Ben’s shown over and over again in the U23 races.”

 

While Healy is keen to advance his cycling career, he was drawn to EFin part because of the team’s deep sense of camaraderie. “I don’t want to be going to a team just doing my job. I don’t want to be riding around for a paycheck. I want to be a part of a team. I’d like to go and be on the bus and have a laugh with everyone. I see this within the team and that’s something that really appealed to me.”

 

Healy has forged his own route to get to where he is today. He has never worked closely with his national cycling body or ridden for any of the bigger U23 teams. “I feel like a lot of the time I’m a bit of an underdog going into a race. That’s just given me the hunger to carry on with it.”

 

Racing the Tour de l’Avenir in 2019 is the perfect example. “I didn’t even get a team, I managed to scrape my way onto the UCI mondial team and I was going there for experience. I managed to pull off a stage win. That feeling of ‘I’m really here to be competitive’ was such a nice feeling and having the title of being the youngest person ever to win a stage was pretty cool as well.” 

 

Vaughters took notice of Healy’s competitive nature, saying, “I do see him in the light of a guy who can win races. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be periods where he has to work for other people. He has a good nose for how to win a race. That’s why we’re hiring him.” 

 

Though Healy considers himself an all-arounder, many of his results have come from the medium mountains. “The 15 to 30 minute climbs, when it’s just a hard day out, I normally do pretty well when it’s really grim like that.” 

 

Healy looks forward to getting the 2022 season underway. “Stepping up to this new level will be a new challenge and a new way to race. I just want to learn everything and try to pick up as much as I can from these big names that I’ll be teammates with. I’m very excited for it. And the equipment and the kit aren’t too bad either!”

 

We like your enthusiasm, Ben, and we think you’ll look great in pink.

— Johannes Mansson to www.efprocycling.com

Israel Start-Up Nation and talented Kiwi Corbin Strong join forces

  • Strong: ‘Humbled to start my professional career with ISN’
  • Carlström: ‘He impressed us on the road and the track’

Israel Start-Up Nation signed Corbin Strong. The 21-year-old Kiwi, coming from SEG Racing Academy, will be on the Israeli team for three years.

“It is a dream come true joining Israel Start-Up Nation for the 2022 season. It will be a truly humbling experience to start my professional road career alongside some of the biggest names in the sport,” Strong said from Tokyo.

ISN’s general manager, Kjell Carlström, is also excited about bringing Strong to the team. “Over the last few years, he has impressed us with his skills on the track as well as on the road,” he says.

“We are committed to giving Corbin a great home for further development and welcome him into the ISN family.”

Olympic Games

The Kiwi is currently representing New Zealand at the Olympic Games, where he is competing on the track.

Competing in the Olympic Games is another highlight in Strong’s quickly developing cycling career. He started riding on the track when he was ten and, since then, has risen through the higher ranks of cycling step-by-step.

The 21-year-old: “After having tried multiple sports while growing up, I followed my dad and brother to the velodrome. When my brother broke his arm, I could borrow his bike. This started my love for the sport and, since then, I always dreamed of being a professional cyclist.”

The Kiwi continues: “Success in the sport came quite early for me with national titles on the road and track coming through the junior ranks. However, becoming a pro cyclist while coming from a small town in New Zealand seemed like a very ambitious goal. I think that is why it intrigued me so much.”

Continuing to develop

Strong had to recover from a broken back after a crash in his final season as a junior but gained momentum the year after when the national track cycling team and the Australian continental team St. George gave him opportunities to develop. Ultimately, he joined the SEG Racing Academy and got selected for the Olympic Games.

After the Olympics, Strong will finish the road season with his current team before joining ISN in 2022. “I look forward to learning from the best riders and continuing my development with ISN.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com