Israel–Premier Tech (UCI team code: IPT) is a UCI ProSeries cycling team founded in 2014 by Ron Baron and Ran Margaliot and based in Israel. The team competed as a UCI World Tour squad from 2020 - 2022 before being relegated to the UCI ProSeries at the end of the 2022 season.

Israel–Premier Tech
Team information
Founded2015 (2015)
StatusUCI Continental (2015–2016)
UCI Professional Continental (2017–2019)
UCI World Tour (2020–2022)
UCI ProTeam (2023–)
WebsiteTeam home page
Key personnel
Team manager(s)Kjell Carlström
Nicki Sørensen
Team name history
2015–2016 Cycling Academy Team
2017–2019 Israel Cycling Academy
2020–2021 Israel Start-Up Nation
2022– Israel–Premier Tech
Current season

History edit

Israel Cycling Academy (2014–2019) edit

Riders at the 2019 Tour de la Provence

In November 2014, Ron Baron and Ran Margaliot launched the Israel Cycling Academy (ICA), with the aim of providing an opportunity for young and talented cyclists to compete in the international arena and launch their professional careers. This team was intended to provide inspiration, hope and faith to future generations of Israelis.[1] The team's first victory came in the fourth stage of the 2015 Tour d'Azerbaïdjan, won by Daniel Turek.[2] On 2 July 2015, the Israeli Road Racing Champion Guy Sagiv joined the ranks of ICA.[3]

In 2018, the team participated in a cycling monument event for the first time – 2018 Milan-San Remo, and in a grand tour for the first time – the 2018 Giro d'Italia. The Giro d’Italia opening stage took place in Jerusalem on 4 May 2018 – the first time in the Giro's 101 years of existence that it has started outside Europe. The Giro held its second and third stages in Israel before it continued onto European soil.

The three stages raced in Israel attracted considerable interest from the Israeli public, with many thousands of Israelis lining up along the route and supporting the riders and especially the ICA home team. It was considered a significant success. ICA co-owner Sylvan Adams was the driving force behind the Giro's "Big Start" in Israel, having financed a significant part of the race budget. ICA's best performance in the Giro was recorded in the 18th stage, when its Spanish rider Ruben Plaza finished in second place. Three days later when the team completed the Giro in Rome, Guy Sagiv became the first-ever Israeli cyclist to finish a grand tour.[citation needed]

In 2019, in its fifth season of existence, ICA enlarged its team roster to 30 riders and set up a racing program that has exceeded 250 racing days all around the globe. The team was invited to take part in the Giro d’Italia In May 2019 and will make its first appearance in the Tour of California. The team owners, Ron Baron and Sylvan Adams, have set the team's goal as participation in the world's biggest races including the Tour de France, in order to continue inspiring and developing a new generation of Israeli cyclists.

In January 2019 the team opened three cycling special youth programs in Israel and formed a youth cycling team in the Arab village of Shfaram. To further develop young Israeli cyclists, ICA operates a development team with a select group of under-23 riders. They have also established a special partnership with one of the leading French amateur teams – Côte d’Armor – which enables its young development team riders to race in France and gain valuable experience overseas.[citation needed]

Israel Start-Up Nation (2020–2021) edit

In October 2019, Israel Cycling Academy completed the takeover of UCI World Tour team Katusha-Alpecin, including its UCI WorldTour license. As a result, Israel Cycling Academy was due to become a UCI World Tour team, pending UCI approval.[4] The UCI approved the team's promotion to World Tour status in December of that year, and the team subsequently changed its name to Israel Start-Up Nation, while the former name became the name of the team's continental level development squad.[5] In July 2020, it was announced that seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome would join the team for the 2021 season.[6]

In August and September 2020, Israel Start-Up Nation took part in the 2020 Tour de France.[7] On 11 October 2020, the team won a Grand Tour stage for the first time when British rider Alex Dowsett won Stage 8 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia.[8] They won another Grand Tour stage 11 days later when Irish rider Dan Martin won Stage 3 of the 2020 Vuelta a España, a result that also took him up from third to second in the General classification; he eventually finished fourth in that classification.[9][10] On 4 December 2020, the team announced Cherie Pridham as a new sports director, the first woman to assume the role on a men's World Tour team.[11][12]

In the 2021 Giro d'Italia in May, Italian rider Alessandro De Marchi briefly wore the maglia rosa as leader of the general classification after Stages 4 and 5, while Dan Martin won Stage 17 and finished tenth overall, and Davide Cimolai finished second in the Points classification. The team itself finished as one of three teams with no penalty points in the Fair Play classification. However, tie-breakers[13] meant that it finished third in the classification, as Dan Martin's tenth-place finish in the general classification was bettered by Tobias Foss finishing ninth for Team Jumbo–Visma and by Damiano Caruso finishing second for Team Bahrain Victorious.[citation needed]

Israel–Premier Tech (since 2022) edit

The team at the 2023 Tour de France

Ahead of the 2022 season, the team announced that Canadian tech company Premier Tech would join as a co-title sponsor.[14]

The season was largely disappointing for IPT, as they struggled for results and faced the threat of relegation from the UCI World Tour. Canadian rider Hugo Houle provided a moment of success with his maiden Tour de France and Grand Tour stage victory, after which an emotional Houle dedicated the win to his late brother.[15] Australian rider Simon Clarke also claimed a stage victory during the race.

The team was relegated from the World Tour at the end of the 2022 season after finishing 20th in the points standings for the 2020 - 2022 qualification cycle. The top 18 teams qualified for the 2023 - 2025 cycle, meaning that from 2023 the team will drop down a division and race under a UCI ProTeam licence. Among non-World Tour teams, IPT finished third in the 2022 one-year points list behind Lotto–Soudal and Team TotalEnergies, meaning it also missed out on wildcards for 2023 World Tour stage races but would receive entries to all World Tour one-day events.[16]

A team bus in 2023

However, the UCI subsequently announced that IPT would receive invitations to single-week World Tour stage races in 2023, a decision made due to "three years of significant upheaval due to the global pandemic".[17] IPT was awarded a wildcard entry to the 2023 Giro d'Italia after both Lotto-Dstny and Team TotalEnergies declined to take part[18] and was also invited to the 2023 Tour de France,[19] meaning that with the exception of the Vuelta a España their 2023 race programme will be largely unaffected by their relegation.

On July 9, Michael Woods won stage 9 of the 2023 Tour de France on a very intense mountain day with a final steep climb to Puy de Dôme. This is Israel–Premier Tech’s third Tour de France victory, after two wins in 2022.

Team roster edit

As of 15 January 2024.[20][21]
Rider Date of birth
  Pascal Ackermann (GER) (1994-01-17) 17 January 1994 (age 30)
  George Bennett (NZL) (1990-04-07) 7 April 1990 (age 33)
  Guillaume Boivin (CAN) (1989-05-25) 25 May 1989 (age 34)
  Simon Clarke (AUS) (1986-07-18) 18 July 1986 (age 37)
  Itamar Einhorn (ISR) (1997-09-20) 20 September 1997 (age 26)
  Marco Frigo (ITA) (2000-03-02) 2 March 2000 (age 23)
  Chris Froome (GBR) (1985-05-20) 20 May 1985 (age 38)
  Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) (1985-03-22) 22 March 1985 (age 38)
  Derek Gee (CAN) (1997-08-03) 3 August 1997 (age 26)
  Hugo Hofstetter (FRA) (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 29)
  Mason Hollyman (GBR) (2000-06-25) 25 June 2000 (age 23)
  Hugo Houle (CAN) (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 33)
  Oded Kogut (ISR) (2001-02-14) 14 February 2001 (age 22)
  Krists Neilands (LAT) (1994-08-18) 18 August 1994 (age 29)
  Riley Pickrell (CAN) (2001-08-16) 16 August 2001 (age 22)
Rider Date of birth
  Nadav Raisberg (ISR) (2001-03-29) 29 March 2001 (age 22)
  Matthew Riccitello (USA) (2002-03-05) 5 March 2002 (age 21)
  Guy Sagiv (ISR) (1994-12-05) 5 December 1994 (age 29)
  Nick Schultz (AUS) (1994-09-13) 13 September 1994 (age 29)
  Michael Schwarzmann (GER) (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 33)
  Riley Sheehan (USA) (2000-06-16) 16 June 2000 (age 23)
  Jake Stewart (GBR) (1999-10-02) 2 October 1999 (age 24)
  Corbin Strong (NZL) (2000-04-30) 30 April 2000 (age 23)
  Dylan Teuns (BEL) (1992-03-01) 1 March 1992 (age 31)
  Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL) (1990-04-19) 19 April 1990 (age 33)
  Ethan Vernon (GBR) (2000-08-26) 26 August 2000 (age 23)
  Stephen Williams (GBR) (1996-06-09) 9 June 1996 (age 27)
  Michael Woods (CAN) (1986-10-12) 12 October 1986 (age 37)
  Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN) (1994-03-31) 31 March 1994 (age 29)
  Rick Zabel (GER) (1993-12-07) 7 December 1993 (age 30)

Major wins edit

National champions edit

  Israel Time Trial, Yoav Bear[22]
  Israel Road Race, Guy Sagiv[23]
  Namibia Road Race, Dan Craven[24]
  Israel Time Trial, Aviv Yechezkel
  Israel Road Race, Guy Sagiv
  Mexico Road Race, Luis Lemus
  Estonia Road Race, Mihkel Raim
  Israel Time Trial, Guy Sagiv
  Israel Road Race, Roy Goldstein
  Latvian Road Race, Krists Neilands
  Israel Time Trial, Omer Goldstein
  Israel Road Race, Roy Goldstein
  Latvian Road Race, Krists Neilands
  Estonia Road Race, Mihkel Raim
  Austria Time Trial, Matthias Brändle
  Israel Time Trial, Guy Niv
  Latvian Time Trial, Krists Neilands
  Israel Road Race, Guy Sagiv
  Estonia Road Race, Norman Vahtra
  Austria Time Trial, Matthias Brändle
  Israel Time Trial, Guy Sagiv
  Israel Road Race, Omer Goldstein
  Israel Time Trial, Omer Goldstein
  Austria Time Trial, Matthias Brändle
  Denmark Road Race, Mads Würtz Schmidt
  Canada Road Race, Guillaume Boivin
  Israel Time Trial, Omer Goldstein
  Israel Road Race, Itamar Einhorn
  Canada Time Trial, Derek Gee
  Israel Road Race, Itamar Einhorn

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Gallery: Sagan helps launch first Israeli pro team". 26 November 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Tour d'Azerbaïdjan 2015 – Stage 4". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Twitter: Cycling Academy adds Guy Sagiv". 2 July 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Israel Cycling Academy complete Katusha-Alpecin takeover". 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Israel Cycling Academy becomes Israel Start-Up Nation". 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Israel Start-Up Nation confirms Chris Froome signing". 9 July 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Official classifications of Tour de France 2020". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  8. ^ AFP and TOI STAFF (11 October 2020). "Israel cycling team wins first-ever Grand Tour stage in Italy". Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Dan Martin wins Stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana". RTE. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Official classifications of Vuelta a España 2020". Vuelta a España. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Israel Start-Up Nation appoints Cherie Pridham, first female Sports Director on WorldTour". 4 December 2020.
  12. ^ @TeamIsraelSUN (4 December 2020). "Breaking Barriers: Cherie Pridham..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Regulations" (PDF). Giro d'Italia. 2014. pp. 19–20. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2021. C - «MULTIPOWER» FAIR PLAY PRIZE ... In the event of a tie, the separation for the placing is the ranking in the general classification of the team's best rider.
  14. ^ Benson, Daniel (6 January 2022). "Israel Start-Up Nation and Premier Tech join forces". CyclingNews. Future plc. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Hugo Houle dedicates Tour de France stage win to his late brother". 19 July 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  16. ^ Farrand, Stephen (12 December 2022). "Israel-Premier Tech, Lotto-Soudal relegated from WorldTour, UCI confirms". Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  17. ^ "The New WorldTour Points System Explained". 24 December 2022.
  18. ^ Ostanek, Daniel (19 January 2023). "Israel-Premier Tech head to Giro d'Italia as 2023 wildcards are announced". Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Tour de France 2023 wildcards go to Israel-Premier Tech and Uno-X". 4 January 2023.
  20. ^ "Israel–Premier Tech". UCI. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  21. ^ "Riders - Israel–Premier Tech Pro Cycling Team". Israel–Premier Tech. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  22. ^ "National Championships Israel – ITT". Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  23. ^ "National Championships Israel – Road Race". Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  24. ^ "National Championships Namibia – Road Race". Retrieved 7 February 2016.

External links edit