ISN announces the arrival of Norwegian Carl Fredrik Hagen to bolster its Grand Tour aspirations
Team owner Sylvan Adams: “Hagen will support Froome at the Grand Tours and fulfill his GC potential”
Hagen: “Expect to get GC results and help the ISN leaders in the mountains!”
Tel- Aviv, August 4th.
Team Israel Start-Up Nation has signed the promising, emerging talent of Norwegian GC rider Carl Fredrik Hagen to bolster its aspirations and to build a lineup which will be a force in the Grand Tours for the coming years.
The team has made its ambitions clear with the announcement that the great Chris Froome will join the team next season. Hagen is expected to be the next piece of the puzzle.
ISN team owner Sylvan Adams: “I am really pleased to add a talented rider like Carl Frederik Hagen to our team. His 8th place GC finish in last year’s Vuelta is indicative of his potential – both for himself and as a support rider for Chris Froome at the Grand Tours. Welcome to the ISN family, Carl Frederik!”
The 28-year-old Norwegian enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season with Lotto-Soudal in 2019 – his first year in the WorldTour – and has personal expectations to grow both as a GC threat and to help ISN become a contender in the world’s biggest tour races.
Hagen: “I look forward to evolving further in a team with those ambitions; working together with some of the world’s best riders. 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.”
ISN’s Team Manager Kjell Carlstrom sees Hagen as someone who can both help the team ambitions in the Grand Tour while developing further in his own right: “Carl Fredrik showed remarkable things in his first year in the WT, with top ten overall placings in several stage races, including the Vuelta. We believe he has the potential to go further. We see him having a double position in the team – he can learn and gain more expertise while being a great help to our other riders and getting his own chances in other races, including Grand Tours. I value his attitude – he has both feet on the ground and clear ambitions and goals for his future career with us.”
Hagen’s career is indeed unique and somewhat unusual. He started his road racing career just five years ago, at an age (23) by which many of his peers were already well seasoned. Until 2013, his attention was focused on cross country skiing, when he decided to take up mountain bike racing. After becoming a road racer, he spent four years on continental teams in his home country. The first hint of his potential came in 2017 when he won the king stage in the Tour d’Alsace.
“It was significant both for me, personally, and my career,” he explains. In 2019 came the leap to World Tour team Lotto-Soudal and a series of somewhat surprising results for a newcomer: 3rd in the final stage of the mighty Criterium du Dauphine, 7th overall in the Tour of Guangxi and, of course, the 8th place finish in the Vuelta a España. No wonder he looks back on last season as being inspiring.
Not surprisingly, he loves climbing, especially on longer mountain stages, but he says, “I also feel good on shorter, more explosive climbs.” Still, he knows he has a lot of room to improve, especially his TT abilities to become a real GC threat – and he is ready to make it happen. “My drive to get better is what’s bringing me forward. I’m never satisfied, even when I’m in great shape. I’m 28 years old and still feel like I have lots to learn and accomplish on my bike. I look forward to continuing this journey and evolving in the right direction with ISN.”
Photos: Bettini Photos.