Chris Froome skips first training camp with new team Israel Start-Up Nation

The seven-time Grand Tour winner has been doing intense training in California during the off-season

Chris Froome will not be joining his new Israel Start-Up Nation team-mates for their first training camp of the year in Girona, Spain, so he can continue to concentrate on his intense training and rehab programme in California, US.

The four-time Tour de France winner has agreed with his team that it makes more sense for him to continue individual training so he can be in the best shape possible for the upcoming season.

Froome is undergoing rehab as well as training in California as he is still recovering from the career-threatening crash he had in the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.

The team's head of performance, Paulo Saldanha explained in a team press release: "Chris Froome, has made great progress with both his rehab and strength work to rebalance his body since his significant injury.

"After our internal assessment and discussion, we felt it was important for him to continue in his current environment in California. We feel this is most conducive for continuing his progress both on and off the bike."

Israel Start-Up Nation's first camp was meant to be in the usual spot of Israel, but the country has gone into its third national lockdown, despite being one of the leading countries in the world for vaccinations.

The team had to reschedule and move the location to the much-used training roads around the city of Girona in Spain instead, with the team hoping to go to Israel in February or March.

Sylvan Adams, team co-owner, said: "We will hold a preliminary pre-season training camp in Spain, as it was impossible to confidently hold the camp in Israel, as we usually do, due to the COVID restrictions and with the borders closed to non-Israelis. So, we intend to do a second camp in Israel as soon as possible,"

Froome isn't the only new signing, as the Israeli squad have brought in Classics rider Sep Vanmarke, all-rouder Daryl Impey, punchy climber Michael Woods, and time trialist Patrick Bevin, among others.

"We need to give them the chance to train and learn how to achieve their different goals together. It is critical, with so many new riders and the new goals we have in front of us," said team manager Kjell Carlstrom.

Froome was due to begin his build-up to the Tour de France in Argentina at the Vuelta a San Juan for the first time in his career, but it is unclear as to whether the race is even going ahead with teams dropping out due to Covid-19.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.