With the lack of sporting action during lockdown, the rumours that Chris Froome is potentially looking to leave Ineos as soon as this summer in order to secure top billing in a Tour de France squad will likely keep cycling fans entertained for a good number of weeks (and the lights on in cycling website newsrooms the world over).
After Movistar were linked to the four-time Tour champion, Israel Start-Up Nation have also emerged as a potential destination, with the team not denying they could be one of the two teams reported to be interested in signing Froome.
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“We are not responding to any of our riders’ interest or possible negotiations. But obviously we respect Chris Froome as a rider and as a person, and of course his accomplishments speak for themselves,” Israel Start-Up Nation told Sport 5, one of the leading sports broadcasters in Israel.
Sport 5 goes on to say their source indicated the team’s billionaire co-owner Sylvan Adams would not hesitate to increase the squad’s budget in order to sign Froome, with the man who brought the Giro d’Italia to Israel in 2018 having turned his attention to bringing the first-ever Israeli team and rider to the Tour de France.
Adams achieved this goal when Israel Start-Up Nation stepped up from the Pro-Continental ranks to take over Katusha-Alpecin’s WorldTour licence at the start of the 2020 season, guaranteeing them a place on the start line in Nice this August.
A shot at signing a rider capable of taking the yellow jersey, however, would appear to be too big an opportunity to miss if it was made available.