Israel Premier Tech has announced its eight-rider roster for this year’s Tour de France with the primary goal of hunting for stage wins and a possible mountains jersey. Canadians Michael Woods and Hugo Houle will be there.
“In this Tour, the main priority for us is to win a stage. With Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España stage wins to our name, we would like to complete the Grand Tour trifecta with a Tour de France win so it’s certainly our main focus to begin with,” IPT general manager, Kjell Carlström said. “We also want to keep our options open and see what may be possible in terms of fighting for a leader’s jersey like we did last year, when we had Michael Woods fighting for the KOM jersey. However, hunting for stages is definitely the most important goal for us in this year’s Tour de France.”
IPT partner, Sylvan Adams, says that he’s eager for the race to kick off next week and that he has high hopes for the team.
“We have a strong squad racing in this year’s Tour de France. Our star riders are on top form and I am hoping for important stage victories. I know that all of Israel is behind us, and this gives the team energy and motivation for the three weeks ahead.”
Jakob Fuglsang is leading the IPT team in the Tour as the race starts out in his home country, Denmark, with the opening time trial on Friday, July 1. In fact, the first three stages will take place on Danish soil before moving to Northern France on the following Monday.
”Starting the Tour de France in my home country will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure the Danish fans will make this year’s Grand Depart one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon,” Fuglsang said.
“After my victory in Mercan’Tour and third place overall in Tour de Suisse last week, I feel ready to take on this Tour. I’ve been working hard to get to this point and I believe my shape is where it should be right now. The Tour is always unpredictable, but I’m here to leave my mark on the race and not just to be another pair of legs in the bunch.”
Michael Woods is another strong card in the IPT lineup. Fresh off a stage win and the overall victory in Route d’Occitanie last week, Woods is eager to keep the momentum going in the Tour.
“I’m really excited to get started with this year’s Tour de France,” the Canadian climber said. “After Route d’Occitanie, I’m feeling really confident for the race. The first week is going to be very demanding, very stressful and very technical. My first goal is just not to crash in this opening week. I’ve come close to winning stages the last two times I’ve done the Tour, but I feel that I’ve always been hampered by injuries from crashes. This time around, the goal is just to stay safe and then have the legs ready to go in the final two weeks. There are quite a few stages there, which are suited to me, and I hope to take advantage of as many of them as possible.”
Israel – Premier Tech will also be able to rely on the strength and experience of Chris Froome in the Tour de France this year. Froome has had his best season with IPT in 2022 and the four-time winner of the Tour is now looking forward to lining up at the world’s biggest race once again.
“It’s awesome to be starting my 10th Tour de France with Israel – Premier Tech. I’ve worked exceptionally hard this year and I’m looking forward to giving it my all. We’ve got a great group of riders in the lineup and we can’t wait for the battle to begin in Copenhagen,” Froome said.
In addition to Fuglsang, Woods and Froome, Tour de France stage winner, Daryl Impey, and multiple Vuelta a España stage winner, Simon Clarke, will also take the start for IPT. The same goes for Canadian time trial champion Hugo Houle, Latvian climber Krists Neilands and Israeli Omer Goldstein, who will be lining up for his second Tour de France after his debut last year.
“Racing the Tour is super stressful but at the same time also super exciting, as you get to perform on the biggest stage in the cycling world. I believe I have been preparing for this Tour in the best way possible. I have worked very hard and I want to deliver an unforgettable performance for myself, my team and for the country I represent,” Goldstein said.
Israel-Premier Tech Tour de France team
Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Michael Woods (CAN), Chris Froome (GBR), Daryl Impey (RSA), Simon Clarke (AUS), Hugo Houle (CAN), Krists Neilands (LAT), Omer Goldstein (ISR).
Sports directors: Nicki Sørensen (DEN), Zak Dempster (AUS), Steve Bauer (CAN).