André Greipel will be back in the WorldTour next year as he joins Israel Cycling Academy for 2020.
The German sprinter terminated his contract with Arkéa-Samsic after just one season with the French Professional Continental outfit and will be returning to cycling’s top tier at 37 years old.
Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) is making the step up to WorldTour level next year as they take over ownership of Katusha-Alpecin, fulfilling their ambition of racing the Tour de France next year.
Team manager for Israel Cycling Academy, Kjell Carlstrom, said: “André Greipel has such a vast palmarès from his years in the sport up to date that we are honoured to have him join the team.
“We are convinced that he can continue to win with us in 2020, but most importantly, the vast experience he brings to the team in both Classics and sprinter’s races is going to be hugely appreciated both for the other riders as well as management. “
Last month, Greipel announced that he would be leaving Arkéa-Samsic after he asked team management to terminate his contract.
Team manger Emmanuel Hubert said he was disappointed with Greipel’s performances this season and that he did not oppose his leaving the team.
Greipel said he struggled with bacterial disease which affected the first half of his 2019 season, only reaching full fitness two weeks before the Tour de France.
He joined Arkéa at the start of the season from Lotto-Soudal, taking an early win in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in January but struggling to reach the podium since.
Greipel said: “I am looking forward to the challenge to perform at my highest level again with ICA, a project for the future with lots of motivated and talented riders.
“I followed the team and saw its fast evolution in the last few years and I wanted to be part of that, especially with the chance to go back and race in the WorldTour.”
He added: “I am not somebody who looks back. I just want to look to the future and start from there and I know my abilities and I will try my best to get back to that.”
In October, Israel Cycling Academy confirmed they would be taking over Katusha-Alpecin, a move which bumps them up to the WorldTour.
The Professional Continental outfit has stepped in to save WorldTour team Katusha, which faced an uncertain future as headline sponsor Alpecin and bike provider Canyon are believed to be moving their money elsewhere.
The team will race in ICA’s blue and white kit, provided by clothing brand Katusha.
Israel Cycling Academy have been pursuing promotion to cycling’s Premier League as a way of securing their spot at the Tour de France, with the team now taking over Katusha-Alpecin’s licence.
The team have also signed Dan Martin from UAE Team Emirates as a general classification and stage victory hopeful, while Greipel will be their man for the sprints.