Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) will start his 2021 season this Friday at the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes.
The Irishman, who has not raced since his fine Vuelta last year – 4th overall and one stage winner – will be joined by Michael Woods, Sep Vanmarcke, Daryl Impey and Patrick Bevin, four riders who have joined Israel Start-Up Nation this winter. The last two riders selected are Krists Neilands and Hugo Hofstetter.
“It’s great to finally get racing again,” Daniel Martin said. “This race was a late addition to my calendar when the races in Spain got cancelled. Winter has been good despite it being probably the coldest I have endured.
“I managed to get some good work done at home in Andorra, and then the team camp in January was great to get together with this great group we have assembled this year. There’s a very relaxed atmosphere in the ISN camp. Dinner conversation is great and we are all getting on well together.”
“This is the first race of the year for most of the guys here, first time racing together for most of us to so this is a race to learn how each other works and see what we can do. We have a super-strong group though, and I’m really just thinking about the team performance,” he said.
“I got a little bit sick last week and so took a recovery block that was actually scheduled anyway, but it means I am unsure where my condition is, but I’m just excited to get racing with these guys, probably one of the strongest teams I’ve ridden in, at least for quite some time.
“We are of course here to try and get a stage win. Whether it’s for myself or one of the other guys, I’m just out to enjoy the race, get the kilometres in my legs ahead of the WorldTour races in March.”