Israel Start-Up Nation first team to go on training camp


Team Israel Start-Up Nation has started what is seen as the first organized training camp in pro cycling since the coronavirus pandemic has derailed the season and has brought it to a halt.

The three days intensive training camp in the northern roads of Israel has seen more than 12 riders of the WorldTour team and its “Israel Cycling Academy” Continental team riding together for the first time, conducting sprints and climbing drills – all scenes that have not been seen since the coronavirus crisis started more than two months ago.

Organizing the training camp was possible after the health authorities in Israel had lifted most of the restrictions that still exist in many European counties and thus far made it impossible to conduct serious team training towards a possible resumption of the season as planned by the UCI.

“This is a testament to the forward-looking and astute Israeli management of this pandemic and our nation’s relatively low number of cases,” said ISN team owner Sylvan Adams who has joined his riders in the training camp.

Still, the Team conducted the training camp training under strict “Coronavirus rules” to make sure that it will not expose more than 20 of its participants – Riders, Mechanics, Soigneurs, and Coaches – to any risk. All participants had to sign a statement of a clean bill of health, body temperatures are being tested often, meals are delivered in boxes and eaten with strict social distancing, and all non-training activities like team meetings are held outdoors. Masseurs and other soigneurs wear masks when treating riders.

“The team is doing its utmost to protect us,” said Guy Niv, “so I feel pretty safe.”

His teammate, the Team’s Israeli young sprinter Itamar Einhorn admitted that the issue is on his mind: “Everything is much stricter. You bring your own set of bottles to the ride, and nobody else will touch them but you.”

For the riders, it was an opportunity; they waited what seemed to last forever: “it is priceless,” said Niv.

“Being able to train together, race together to a sprint, or working on high speeds. This is something you can’t train alone or on home trainers. It enables you to reach levels that you can never reach otherwise”.

The team sees the camp as a first step towards the renewal of the season and also a possible model for its preparations under Covid-19.

“There are several hurdles to overcome before the season restarts and restrictions of movement between countries are the most crucial,” explained ISN pro manager Kjell Carlstrom.

“It may be difficult to have a full team training camps as we have riders living all over the world. We may need to build several squads based on areas and which races they are selected to – and keep them together. For sure, it will be very complicated and challenging,” he said.


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