Woods given Tour de France leadership ahead of Froome in Israel Start-Up Nation squad

Israel Start-Up Nation have confirmed that Michael Woods and not four-time winner Chris Froome will lead the team at the Tour de France, with the Canadian riding for stage wins and the general classification at the French Grand Tour as it gets underway in Brest on June 26.

The announcement comes after Woods confirmed current good form with a fifth overall finish in the overall standings at the Tour de Suisse, also after four-time Tour winner Chris Froome recently conceded that he did not have the form to challenge for the yellow jersey in 2021.

“I’m very much focused on just returning back to my former level," said Froome at the recent Criterium du Dauphine. "I don’t go from this level to winning the Tour de France in a few weeks.”

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The remainder of their Tour team is still to be announced for Israel Start-Up Nation, though both Froome and Giro d’Italia stage winner Dan Martin are expected to feature. Another great of the sport expected to be selected is sprinter Andre Greipel.

Woods, meanwhile is in some of the most consistent form of his career, coupling his fifth and mountains jersey in Switzerland with fifth overall at the Tour de Romandie, fourth at Flèche Wallonne and fifth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

"I am really excited to represent Israel Start-Up Nation in the Tour de France, especially in a team leader role," said Woods. "I had an opportunity to lead a team in a Grand Tour, but never at the Tour de France. I am honoured to be given this position, especially considering the quality of the team we have.

"My main goals and priorities are clear: stage wins first and try to go high on the general classification. We want to do well on the GC, no doubt, but the most important thing for me is the stage wins. That’s the main focus."



Woods will enter a crowded field fighting for the overall win, with the favourites Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and INEOS Grenadiers' collection of stars all expected to take minutes on Woods in the two time trials included in the race. His best finish in a Grand Tour is seventh overall at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.

Every moment of the 2021 Tour de France will be live on SBS, with the ŠKODA Tour Tracker app, SBS TV and the SBS Cycling Central the place to be to catch all the pulsating action from France from June 26 to July 18.


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3 min read
Published 15 June 2021 at 7:47am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS