Chris Froome has been advised by two of his future Israel Start-Up Nation teammates that his impending transfer will be a ‘big change’ for him – but that the team is ready to raise standards.
In the past decade, the Kenyan-born rider has established himself as the best general classification rider, also counting two Vueltas a España and one Giro d’Italia on his palmarès.
His brave, if not unexpected, transfer away from Ineos excites his soon-to-be companions at Israel Start-Up Nation who believe that the team will eventually match the expectations required by Froome.
“It’s exciting for us and I’m a guessing a big change for him also,” Belgian Tom Van Asbroeck told Cycling Weekly.
“I think he will have more to do. He has been in the top team that was developed to its almost full potential, whereas we are in development. So for sure, he will find some improvement spots here and there.
“The guy is used to winning big bike races a lot of the time, including Grand Tours, so it will be a big change for him and the team has to improve a lot.
“Froome is a guy who will need a lot of support I imagine so these are things we can work on.
“They always say that when you have one big rider or a couple of big riders, the level of the team always goes up and I don’t expect anything less here. With Froome there’ll be more fine-tuning and more motivation from the rider’s side.”
The Briton’s impending move was also raised by Ben Hermans who is excited by the prospect of riding with the rider who is aiming for his fifth Tour title this season.
“I am very satisfied that a guy like this sign for the team,” Hermans, who has won the Tour of Austria twice, said. “It’s only good for our team and it will bring us all to another level.
“I am really curious as to what the changes will be. How will we get more professional? Will be become more scientific? Will we get even better material? Even now our equipment is on point, but will it get better?
“He will bring other sponsors to the team, maybe other staff, and other thoughts. We are ready to welcome Chris Froome and some other big helpers.”
Van Asbroeck is riding his second season for the outfit that has come a long way since their 2015 debut season as a third-tier Continental team.
“What I hear from those at the team before I was is that it has grown exponentially,” he added. “I have seen improvements in just one year. They are fast learners here – you see it in everything.
“They know how to achieve more, become better, and they try to do it in every little corner where possible. Of course, that takes time but they are in a good way.
“When Froome comes it will be another boost and I expect an exponential improvement again.
“Every year the team is growing and growing and I don’t see the limits yet. In a couple of years, if they want to achieve big things, and if the main sponsor wants to spend, they can. The sky is the limit, as they say.”