The Israeli team claimed two emotional stage wins in 2022.
By Bradley Martin, JNS.org
After claiming two emotional stage wins at the 2022 Tour de France, the Israel – Premier Tech (IPT) team is set to return for its fourth participation in cycling’s flagship event this year after having been granted a wildcard invitation from the Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O).
IPT made history in 2020 as the first Israeli cycling team to race the Tour de France. In 2022, Guy Niv was the first Israeli rider to secure two stage wins. IPT owner Sylvan Adams described his team’s hunger for more success at this year’s race.
“We are looking forward to racing in the sport’s most important and difficult race, the Tour de France, this July,” said Adams. “We hope to build on our success of last summer where we won two stages, including one of the most difficult on the mythical cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix course. Israel – Premier Tech was one of only six teams that won at least two stages at last year’s race, and we will be hunting for more success in the 2023 edition.”
General Manager Kjell Carlström shared Adams’ enthusiasm and thanked A.S.O for awarding one of the two remaining wildcard invitations to IPT.
“After racing our best ever Tour de France in 2022, we are thrilled to return to the race this year for our fourth participation. With each participation, we have grown as a team and watching Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle claim two emotional stage victories last year was an absolute highlight of our team’s eight-year history,” said Carlström. “I also want to thank A.S.O for inviting us back to the race.”
While winning a Tour de France stage is a dream come true, few victories in 2022 were as memorable as the stage wins of Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle. Whether it was Clarke’s win on stage 5, having started the year without a team before bouncing back to claim the biggest win of his career on the mythical cobbles of Roubaix, or Hugo Houle’s emotional win on stage 16 dedicated to his late brother Pierrik, IPT’s maiden Tour de France wins are ones that won’t be forgotten.
For Clarke, the news of IPT’s invitation is a huge source of motivation as the new season gets underway.
“It’s great that we have been confirmed to race this year’s Tour de France. It’s really important not only for the team, but also for us as riders to have the opportunity to participate. Without an automatic invitation, the news of a wildcard invitation is great for us. Everyone, from management to the riders, is super excited to be back there heading to the Basque Country in the first week of July for another lap of France,” said Clarke.
Houle echoed that sentiment.
“It’s super important to have this invitation to the Tour de France, one of the most important races of the year, and really great to start the year with this news. It’s a race I enjoy, especially last year with the success I had, so this gives me a lot of motivation to go back and be there for a fifth time in my career. A big thanks to A.S.O for giving us this opportunity and recognizing what we achieved last year. It will be one of my main focuses of the season to make the team and to perform well and show everyone that we deserve this invitation,” Houle said.
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