ICA announces the first newcomers from Katusha:
Rick Zabel from Germany and Mads Wurtz from Denmark will
Be part of the team set to start its new WT quest.
Tel-Aviv. November 15th
Israel Cycling Academy is welcoming the first two riders that will join its roster coming from team Katusha as part of its quest to step up into the World Tour next season, pending a UCI approval.
The two riders are German Rick Zabel sprinter (25) and TT specialist and classics man Mads Wurtz Shmidts from Denmark.
Both riders expressed delight and relief that a period of confusion and unclarity has come to an end. “We all heard many things about what was going to happen,” said Wurtz Shmidt. ” I kept my fingers crossed for ICA to be the team we would come together with – and I am happy that at last, it’s behind us, and we can focus on racing and helping the team achieve its goals“, said the Dane.
ICA’s pro manager Kjell Carlstrom said he expects the two first riders coming from Katusha to be a significant assets to the team in its challenging 2020 season: “We are bringing on Riders that we strongly feel can help the team in different areas like bolstering a solid sprint “train” and the Classics.“ Carlstrom pointed out that both riders will fit the bill: “Rick has shown that he can be a vital piece in helping out the team in different races, both classics and stage races. We believe that he can also continue to improve and be a vital part of the team.
Mads Wurtz has shown his capacity both in TT’s and road races. He can be an integral part of the classics team, and in short stage races with a TT, he could potentially get some personal glory as well.“
Zabel (25), the heir of his famous Dad Erik, will be entering his 7th year as a WT pro rider and will bring the team much experience (he finished three Grand Tours) and versatility. “I am so happy, especially after what we went through. But I am looking forward now. ICA is so special, the only team coming out of Israel. I was so impressed with its success and now that I can be part of it, and I feel we have a great squad”.
His Dane teammate Mads Wurtz was equally enthusiastic: “The last two years I’ve noticed ICA in many races. They ride aggressive and always give it a try in the final for their leader. I kept my fingers crossed that I will land here. So Excited to have a chance to visit Israel after Giro 2018 that I started in Jerusalem. My first focus will be the Classics and especially my dream race: Paris Roubaix”.
On Rick Zabel Career:
2012 – German Champion U23
2013: Tour of Flanders U23 Winner
2014-2016: Team BMC
2017-2019: Katusha Alpecin
Victories: 1 stage in the tour of Austria.
A stage win in the Tour of Yorkshire.
2nd Eschborn – Frankfurt WT, 2017
On Mads Wurtz Shmidts:
2013 Team CULT Energy
2014 Team CULT Energy – VitalWater
2016 Team Trefor
2017-2019 Team Katusha Alpecin
Junior World Champion TT 2011
U23 Danish Champion TT 2015, 2016
Tour of Denmark stage 4b (TT) 2015
Tour de L’Avenir stage 4 2015
U23 World Champion TT 2015
U23 Danish Champion RR 2016
Tour of Denmark stage 4 (TT) 2016
Tour of Denmark 3rd GC 2016
Etoile de Besseges 3rd GC 2017
Rund um Köln 2nd 2017
ZLM Tour 3rd GC 2019