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Israel Start-Up Nation make first signings to support Chris Froome

Joe Robinson
5 Aug 2020

Veteran Daryl Impey and climber Carl Fredrik Hagen join as part of Froome Grand Tour 'core'

Isreal Start-Up Nation has begun to build its Grand Tour team to support inbound Chris Froome with the announcement of two new riders for 2021.

Experienced Grand Tour stage winner Daryl Impey will join from Mitchelton-Scott while talented climber Carl Fredrik Hagen joins from Lotto-Soudal.

Froome will reunite with Impey after the duo both began their careers with the Barloworld team in 2008. The 35-year-old South African Impey on a two-year deal after Froome personally contacted him to persuade him to join the team.

'It’s not often you get to race with one of the greats in our sport, so when Chris called me and said he trusts me and would like to have me by his side I appreciated that and knew he meant it,' said Impey.

'I have known him a long time and our careers have nearly come full circle – we started out together at Barloworld and we are continuing at ISN. I know he can win another Tour de France, and it will be great to not only be part of that team, but to play an important role.'

Impey, who was the first South African to wear yellow at the Tour de France, will assume the role of super-domestique and road captain while also being afforded leadership roles of his own at certain races.

Joining Impey will be highly-rated Norweigian climber Hagen, who leaves Lotto-Soudal.

The 28-year-old finished eighth overall at last year's Vuelta a Espana in his first season at WorldTour level and is expected to form part of Froome's core Grand Tour team.

'I look forward to evolving further in a team with those ambitions; working together with some of the world’s best riders,' said Hagen.

'It’s going to be exciting and fun to be integrated into a new team which hasn’t yet reached its full potential. We’ll build up together toward success in the coming years. I’m looking for a role and an opportunity to achieve some good results in the GC and individual stages, as well as to support the team captains to success in the mountains.'

Froome will join Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021 as part of a three-year deal that ends his decade-long association with Team Ineos (formerly Sky) that brought a total of seven Grand Tour victories.

The 35-year-old has joined to be guaranteed unrivalled leadership at the Tour de France, something that was no longer a certainty at Team Ineos due to the emergence of Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.

One rider who will not be joining forces with Froome at Israel Start-Up Nation is former Team Sky teammate Richie Porte.

The Australian, currently riding for Trek-Segafredo, has been linked with a series of new teams for 2021 including a reunion with Froome. However, latest reports from Italy are suggesting that Porte could be in for a surprise move back to Team Ineos.