Chris Froome to debut with Israel Start-Up Nation at the Vuelta a San Juan
The Vuelta a San Juan 2021 will be held between January 24 and 31 and Chris Froome will make his debut for the Israel Start-Up Nation team at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina next month
Chris Froome who has been training in California in recent weeks and will be in charge of the Israel Start-Up Nation in San Juan said, "This race will mark the beginning of a much-anticipated new chapter of my career. I look forward to racing with my new teammates and getting the ball rolling on the adventure that lies ahead."
The eight-day race is often peppered with a blend of mountain stages and days dedicated towards the sprinters but, despite a favourable terrain, Froome will not use the event as a marker for success. His team have taken the pressure off, too, and insisted that their new GC leader will not target the overall standings while in South America.
While Froome use the race to build his form, the Israel Start-Up Nation team will also aim for stage wins. Sprinter Rudy Barbier returns to the race, having won the opening stage in 2020, while Guy Niv will target mountain stages and uphill finishes. Tom Van Asbroeck, Alex Cataford, and Patrick Bevin complete the team’s line up.
In addition, the race announced other top Pro cyclists will be present including individual time trial world champion, Filippo Ganna (Italian National Team), and the Slovak Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe). Along with the aforementioned Israel and Bora teams, Team Cofidis and Deceuninck-Quick Step will also be taking part.
The 35-year-old will be continuing to rebuild form in the race won by Remco Evenepoel this year as he continues to come back from his awful injury he suffered last summer.
“Froomey is not going to Argentina to win the race,” said team sports director Rik Verbrugghe. “We see it as a perfect opportunity for Chris to start the building process towards the peak of the season down the road.”
Team’s general manger Kjell Carlström says Israel Start-Up Nation will ride the Vuelta a San Juan to train and build a relationship with their new leader.
“In what is going to be an important season for the team and for Chris, the nice atmosphere and weather in the Vuelta a San Juan makes it a great place to start out the season,” Carlström said.
“Chris will get a feel for his new teammates in a short camp before the start and will be able to build on the relationships throughout the race. Racing together as a team is always important and this race setting provides a great platform for working on that.”
The rest of Froome's race calendar has yet to be announced but it is expected that he will race a traditional Tour de France pre-race programme with events such as the Critérium du Dauphiné and either Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice on his schedule.