Chris Froome says riding with the same team felt like “copy and pasting year after year,” as he embarks on his first season with Israel Start-Up Nation.
At the close of 2020 four-time Tour de France winner Froome left Ineos Grenadiers, formerly Team Sky, after a decade of Grand Tour dominance.
Froome, 35, has signed with Israel Start-Up Nation for 2021 as part of a contract which he says will last until the end of his racing career and even beyond.
In a video interview shared by Israeli WorldTour team ISN, Froome said: “I’m 35 coming back from a big injury – year after year with the same team I’ve been almost copying and pasting every year.
“Changing teams at this point in my career is going to give me so much more mental stimulation and motivation.
“It’s a whole new change. It’s a new project, It’s a new chapter, it does feel quite rejuvenating for me.”
Froome, winner of seven Grand Tours, has been returning from a serious injury suffered in a crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, which left him with multiple injuries including a broken leg.
The Brit returned to racing last season and completed the Vuelta a España, finishing 98th overall in his first Grand Tour since the 2018 Tour de France.
Froome added: “It was a pretty big decision to make to to join ISN, Kjell Carlström, former team-mate of mine now the general manager at Israel Start-up Nation, reached out. It didn’t take long for me to have the first conversation with the team owner, Sylvan Adams. immediately there’s this this connection – his passion was clear to see after the discussions with Silvan, we came to the conclusion, especially changing at this point in my career after having been with with one team for 11 years, we agreed that joining ISN is a commitment I’m not just going to make for a year or two. This is a commitment until the end of my career and potentially even beyond that.”
Froome is currently training in California to avoid the European winter and to also spend time at the Red Bull High Performance Centre, where he has been working through the after-effects of his serious leg injury.
He is also hoping he can help inspire a generation of Israeli cyclists with his new team, in the way Team Sky has done in Britain since 2010.
Froome added: “My goals haven’t changed. I want to get back to that top level. I want to be fighting for victories at the Tour de France and other Grand Tours.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the 2021 season underway now. And hopefully this is now the start of what’s going to be a long, exciting successful partnership going forward.”