Israel Start-Up Nation finished off this year’s Tour de France with a strong team performance as André Greipel sprinted to fifth place in Paris.
After three weeks of hard racing, the Tour concluded with the traditional sprint finish on Champs-Elysées this Sunday. Having announced that this would be his final Tour de France, Greipel was eager to finish off with a good result. His ISN team mates did well to position him near the front for the sprint and at the end, Greipel managed to cross the line in fifth place, finishing off an impressive Tour de France career with a strong result.
André Greipel: “This was an emotional day, knowing that I would take on my last Tour de France stage. In the sprint, due to the new finish, everybody gambled a bit in the headwind and I guess I gambled a bit too much. I would have liked to finish with a better result, so there is some disappointment now but also relief as I could finish another Tour de France.”
Looking back at the race, Sports Manager Rik Verbrugghe says that the ISN riders can be proud of the way they fought to overcome the difficult start to the Tour with seven out of eight riders being involved in the many crashes on the first day.
Michael Woods took the KOM jersey after a gutsy ride on stage 14, which saw him spend stage 15 in the iconic polka dots. The Canadian climber finished both third and fifth during the race. Also Dan Martin made Top 5 when he put on an impressive performance on the final mountain stage of the race to Luz Ardiden.
In total, Israel Start-Up Nation made Top 10 on nine stages in this year’s Tour de France and Top 5 on three occasions.
Rik Verbrugghe: “I believe the guys can be proud of what they managed to do in this Tour. We had a challenging beginning but we never lost morale and the guys were quick to change focus and fight for new goals.”
“Taking ISN’s first ever leader’s jersey with Michael Woods in polka dots was surely a race highlight for us but we also saw strong performances by Dan Martin and of course André Greipel who can look back at an outstanding career at the highest level. The whole team fought admirably and this is definitely something we can build on for the future.”
Israeli Tourism Minister, Yoel Razvozov: “We are so proud to see an Israeli team carry the Israeli flag at one of the largest sporting events in the world. Thanks to the partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, the team is promoting our brand of tourism to Israel throughout the race.
Events of this kind are the biggest generators of tourism in the world, so it was important for me to come and learn about what is needed, and how it will be possible to bring major international sporting events to Israel on the day the skies open.”
Sylvan Adams, ISN co-owner: “ISN’s second Tour represented another building block in the team’s growth. For the first time, we were on the podium, with Michael Woods earning the iconic polka dot climber’s jersey. We also had our share of bad luck, with terrible crashes destroying our GC hopes on the first day. But the team held strong, and was cheered all along the roads of France, with shouts of Israel, Israel, allez! Also, allez Start-Up Nation in recognition of the Team moniker and allez Froome, in respect of our great four time Tour winner. We have put the ‘Start-up Nation’ on the world map. And a special mention of our Israeli Omer Goldstein for racing like a consummate pro, despite being in his first Tour de France.”