• Belgian Classics specialist to lead Israeli team in the spring

Sep Vanmarcke will join the Israel Start-Up Nation team in 2021. The Belgian, a former winner of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, will lead the team in the Spring Classics, as well as support in the Grand Tours for the next three years.

“Sep is a big, strong Classics rider, who brings a winning spirit to ISN,” said team co-owner Sylvan Adams.

The 32-year-old is not modest about his ambitions, saying “My main objective is to win the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix in the next few years!” He has reason to think it could be so: he has ridden Flanders 10 times, and twice finished third. His record in Roubaix is better. In eight participations, he has finished second once and has landed in the top ten a total of five times.

His highlight was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which he won in 2012, and where he was third in 2018 and 2019.

Sep’s sport director in 2012 was Eric Van Lancker, who is very happy to be reunited with the rider who lives only four kilometers away. “He is a strong rider for the Flemish Classics and he will be our leader. He is a rider who can be top and he will certainly get all our help to succeed. I am looking forward to working with him again.”

Sep said he chose ISN “because I see how the team is growing. In only a few years it went from being a small team to a WorldTour team. Now that is has reached that level, it aims higher. And I do too.”

“They’ve build a strong group of riders for the next years – a combination of great riders already with the team and some big names who are joining them. I’m happy to be part of that group.”

“I also like being part of an international team, an Israeli team which is open to all. ISN has a very international group of riders and staff. Getting to know all these new people and cultures will be very exciting! I’m looking forward to that first trip to Israel!”

ISN team manager Kjell Carlström is “delighted” to have Sep on the team. “He has a lot of experience. He has proven that he is a great Classics rider but can also support a leader in a Grand Tour. And he also does well in time trials, so it is a perfect package.”

Pics: Bettini Photos

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