Guy Niv and Itamar Einhorn have made it to the Vuelta-selection for the Israel Start-Up Nation team. It is the second time the Israeli team has brought two Israeli riders to a Grand Tour.
For Niv, La Vuelta means his second Grand Tour this season, after having finished the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. For Itamar Einhorn, the Vuelta a España means his first Grand Tour participation.
Israelis take on Vuelta full-heartedly
Co-owner Sylvan Adams says the selection of two Israeli riders for a 21-day-stage-race validates our efforts in developing Israeli cyclists. “Each will have a different role on ISN’s eight-man squad”, Adams says. “Guy, ISN’s most experienced Grand Tour-rider, is largely a breakaway stage hunter, while Itamar will be the team’s principal sprinter. I for one am excited to see what they can do over the three-week race. Y’alla, all of Israel is behind you!”
The 23-year-old Einhorn says he is ‘obviously’ very excited to race his first Grand Tour. The sprinter: “Riding a Grand Tour is a challenge and I think I can do it. I feel good, I feel ready, and I feel really motivated. It looks like this year it has pretty good options for the sprint.”
Niv says he will take on the ‘double Grand Tour challenge’ with a full heart. “I look at it as an honor and an opportunity. I will do everything to turn this into a great three weeks, to look for opportunities to fight for a win from a breakaway, and also to help my friend and teammate Itamar Einhorn in his first Grand Tour.”
‘Big opportunities for Israeli riders’
Oscar Guerrero and Zak Dempster, two of the three sports directors for ISN in the Vuelta, say that the Vuelta comes at the right time in Einhorn’s career. “There are plenty of sprints for him to learn his craft and fight for results and, of course, it’s an important step in his career which should help him to progress.”
About Niv the two sports directors say: “Guy, after having made big steps in the last two seasons, now has the chance to take an even bigger step forward with complete freedom to enter breaks and fight for real results. It’s a big opportunity for him at this stage of his career.”
Chris Froome not in line-up
Chris Froome will not compete in La Vuelta. Froome, winner of the Spanish stage race in 2011 and 2017, has not fully recovered from the Tour de France. According to ISN’s team manager Kjell Carlström, it does not make sense to start with Froome.
“Froome is not completely ready for another Grand Tour. With an alternative race plan, Chris will have a few more weeks to get ready for the rest of the season. He will race some shorter stage races.”
Sep Vanmarcke and Davide Cimolai as experienced riders to Vuelta
In addition to Israelis Niv and Einhorn, Sep Vanmarcke and Davide Cimolai make their way to Burgos. Also, Danish national champion Mads Würtz Schmidt, Canadians Alex Cataford and James Piccoli, and Australian U-23 rider Sebastian Berwick start La Vuelta.
Guerrero: “For us, the most important thing is that we are specific on the days that suit our guys. We’re not going in with a GC guy so that opens up so many opportunities for every rider on the team to have their day to really target a stage (or two or three).”
Our sprinters are also up to the challenge. Davide Cimolai and Itamar Einhorn will be dividing up the sprint duties, depending on how they feel each day. Cimolai showed us his good form in the Giro d’Italia earlier this year, with three second-places in bunch sprints, while Einhorn has a win since coming back from a knee injury.
Vuelta a España (14/08 – 05/09):
Itamar Einhorn – Israel
Mads Würtz Schmidt – Denmark
Sep Vanmarcke – Belgium
Guy Niv – Israel
Davide Cimolai – Italy
Sebastian Berwick – Australia
Alexander Cataford – Canada
James Piccoli – Canada
Sports directors: Oscar Guerrero, Claudio Cozzi & Zak Dempster