Israel Start-Up Nation Lineup for the Tour de France 2021
Rider: Mike Woods
Goals: GC and stage victories
We call him Woodsy, and we fell in love with him the moment he arrived. And what’s not to love? Woods was all we expected and much more. He quickly became one of our brightest stars with his winning mentality and mode of attacking, he delivered victories and came so close many other times.
Head sports director, Rik Verbrugghe:
“The thing with Mike is that before joining us, he was always the second rider. The one to work for a leader. Joining ISN, we allowed him to lead, and he proved to us that he is, indeed, a natural leader.
His success in the Classics, the Tour de Romandie, and the Tour de Suisse gave him – and us – the confidence that he can play the role in the greatest cycling race of all, the Tour.
“I expect him to fight for stage wins and be there in the GC hunt as he did in the Tour de Suisse. The team’s primary focus will be to protect Woodsy and provide all the support he will need.”
“I am really excited to represent Israel Start-Up Nation in the Tour de France, especially in a team leader role. I had an opportunity to lead a team in a Grand Tour, but never at the Tour de France. I am honored to be given this position, especially considering the quality of the team we have.
“My main goals and priorities are clear: stage wins first and try to go high on the general classification. We want to do well on the GC, no doubt, most important thing for me is the stage wins. That’s the main focus.
“I am looking forward to taking on the GC role in the team. I love racing GC. It’s really challenging and doing it on Tour is more challenging, more intense, and much more stressful. But the way I am riding these days, I am up to the challenge. And with the team that we have, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
“I think I’m in a good spot right now. I learned some excellent lessons in the Tour de Suisse that we just finished yesterday, where I was able to fight for stage wins and finished fifth overall. I think we’re going to use those lessons going into this Grand Tour. I’m excited about it, I believe there are some excellent opportunities for us – not just for me but for the team, and I’m looking forward to starting up in Bretagne.”