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Israel Start-up Nation gains Canadian title sponsorship, becomes Israel-Premier Tech

By far the most Canadian squad in the WorldTour

It has been in the works for a while, but on Thursday, it was announced that Israel Start-up Nation would become Israel-Premier Tech until 2024, the Canadian company switching title sponsorship from Astana after one year. Astana is now called Astana Qazaqstan Team, and after a season as the WorldTour’s second-most Canadian team it has no Canadian riders, staff or sponsorship.

Israel-Premier Tech has five Canadian riders: Guillaume Boivin, Alex Cataford, Hugo Houle, James Piccoli and Michael Woods. Canadian road legend Steve Bauer is its new director sportif. And now the squad has a Canadian title sponsor is Premier Tech. The Rivière-du-Loup, Que.-based machinery, packaging, horticulture, water treatment, gardening products and robotics corporation was an Astana sponsor for four years before becoming title sponsor for 2021.

Canadian team owner Sylvan Adams said in a press release, “With the presence of all four Israelis, and five of the six Canadians competing in the UCI WorldTour, this team is, in many ways, a reflection of my two nationalities. As a Canada-based, international company, Premier Tech is a natural partner for us, and we are the natural home for Premier Tech. I am proud that Jean Bélanger and Premier Tech have joined our project. Premier Tech will help us reach the lofty goals we’ve set for this team, and I am thrilled to welcome Premier Tech as co-title sponsor and unveil our new jersey today.”

The new Jinga jersey is similar to last year’s but the sleeve cuffs and abdomen are adorned with scattered, three-tone blue geometrical shapes that, if they were in orange, harvest gold and brown, would give off a 1970s conversation-pit vibe.

Israel-Premier Tech prepares for 2022 with new addition Houle, sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo and 2020 Il Lombardia winner Jakob Fuglsang.