The Israel Start-Up Nation team has announced their team for the Volta a Catalunya with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome joined by Michael Woods, Dan Martin, and Daryl Impey.
The race will be the first time all four riders have raced together, with the quartet expected to form the core of the squad’s Tour de France roster later this year. The WorldTour race takes place between March 22-28. Martin won the overall in 2013 and the mountainous course is well suited to him once again.
Froome made his debut for the team at the UAE Tour earlier this year and while he didn’t demonstrate his best form he is hoping to use Catalunya as a springboard for the rest of the year. The 35-year-old has taken part in the race seven times with two top-ten results to his name.
“I will be using the race as an opportunity to push the legs further towards race fitness. I love racing on Spanish roads and I am looking forward to testing myself in the mountains to see how I’ve progressed,” he said in a press release issued by his team.
Froome, Impey, and Alex Cataford recently took part in a two-week training camp at altitude but for Woods and Martin, this will be their first race back after a short illness ruled them out of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Impey, who joined the team alongside Froome at the start of the year, is set to race as the team’s road captain.
“This is the first time I have done an altitude block before the race, so I am keen to see the effects from that. Hopefully, we can capitalize on the successful camp on Tenerife.”
“We have assembled a great squad”, said Impey, the Girona-based rider who feels like he will be racing on home roads. “We can be really ambitious with our climbers, and I hope that we can pull off a big result altogether.”
Also in the team is Israeli road champion Omer Goldstein, who like Froome, last raced at the UAE Tour in February.
“I feel good and therefore I am looking forward to this particular WorldTour stage race. Since the UAE Tour I have been training well and I got stronger over the last few weeks. There is a lot of climbing to be done in Catalunya and I feel I am ready to perform,” Goldstein said.
Israel Start-Up nation for the Volta a Catalunya:
Daryl Impey, Omer Goldstein, Chris Froome, Reto Hollenstein, Dan Martin, Michael Woods, and Alexander Cataford.