Tel-Aviv., August 29. Israel Cycling Academy has reached far north to the deep Norwegian pool of Cycling talents and signed two “made in Norway” promising riders to strengthen its squad ahead of its most challenging racing season ever.
Sprinter Sondre Holst Enger (23) and “Classics” type specialist August Jensen are expected by the first Israeli Pro team to fully emerge and fulfil their vast potential in a Team that will face a much tougher race program in it’s second year as a Pro Continental.
The Team owners Ron Baron And Sylvan Adams already stated their goal to enter
the First Grand Tour in 2018 when signed Two senior World Tour riders Ben Hermans and Ruben Plaza. The move to add the Norwegian duo is seen by the team’s Chief Sports Director Kjell Carlstrom as a step in that direction. “They are both fairly young but they have already amassed nice results and we believe they can do much more with us”. They are coming from a country that produce a lot of talents and we believe we got two of the best in the crop. Sondre already showed that he can fight for victory with the best sprinters in the World ( 3rd in a Tour De France stage ) and August have a great winning instincts that can go for victories in the Classics and short stage races. “
Both riders made it clear that they see the move to the Israeli team as an exciting chance to leap forward both personally and team wise. “ Even as a kid, I always had big dreams so when I took on Pro cycling, my goal was not to be just a pro but also one of the best. That is what I expect of my self in joining ICA” said Sondre.
For August Jensen this presents the first opportunity to join a foreign team on a rise:
“ I am so grateful to get the chance to be part of a team with high ambitions and an exciting goal to promote cycling in parts of the world with less of Cycling tradition. With ICA I hope to race in bigger races and I am real confident that I can contribute with great results”.
Sondre portrays himself as a “ Sprinter that when in good shape can get pass short climbs pretty well”, a great asset for sprinters. He broke to the pro cycling scene as the new fine Norwegian made talent in his debut at IAM Cycling team in 2014 and won the U23 national road race title and finished fifth in the U23 world championship. The following year he recorded a win in Tour of Austria but 2016 became his real breakout when IAM was racing as a world tour team and Sondre proved he belongs. He raced well in the Tour de France and even finished 3rd at the 16th stage. “ One of my greatest moments was to arrive to the Champs Elysess and feel all the energy surrounded the course after 3 hard working weeks” he recalls. The same year he showed his cheerful “out of the Box side”, dancing wildly on the podium of Tour Croatia after winning a stage. the Clip became Viral.
Unfortunately for Sondre, this last year ( with AG2r La Mondiale) did not present many cheerful moments. “ He had a rough season with some sickness and difficulties” said ICA Sports Director Carlstrom who have directed Sondre in the IAM team. “ However, we strongly believe that he will put it behind him. We will focus on bringing him into position for sprints in some of the big races and I am confident he can bring great results”.
The expectations from August Jensen are very much the same. “ August has proved this year that he is a great talent and we are very excited to have him onboard. I strongly believe that he will constantly improve and become a rider to consider in a lot of one day classics on top of going for wins in short stages tours” said the Fin Sports Director is a big fan of Norwegian cycling.
Interestingly enough the articulate August might have been easily a…successful Football player these days . “ I had a promising career as a junior football player only to have it ruined by injuries “ he smiles. No regrets really since this what lead him to Cycling: “ I started Rehab training on a bike and I quickly realised that I had more fun riding a bike then being an injured football player”.
When he won the Norwegian National U23 title in 2012 he finally realised he can be also a very good cyclist. “ I will almost remember it as it changed the game for me as a rider. I went from being an unknown amateur to ride one of the best continental teams in Norway, Oster Hus Ridley”.
He stayed with the Norwegian outfit in the past 5 years and steadily progressed , bringing better and better results. The best one was a stage win in the HC Arctic Race of Norway this year and being able to finish 2nd overall. “ This one my biggest win and it felt extra special to do no far away form my Childhood home” adds August.
He is now hoping to make the next leap. “ I hope one day to do well in springs classics like tour of Flanders and Milan San Remo”.
Israel Cycling Academy was founded in December 2014 in Jerusalem, as Israel’s first Professional cycling team, with a clear vision to help Israeli Cycling and bring young cyclists, especially Israelis, to the top levels of cycling. This year (2017) was it’s first as a Pro Continental.
Attachments: Riders Results.
Sondre Holst Jensen:
2016 (IAM CYCLING)
2015 (IAM CYCLING)
2014 (IAM CYCLING – FROM 1ST AUGUST)
1. stage Kreiz Breizh (2.2) 2015
1. GC Kreiz Breizh (2.2) 2015
1. stage Liberty Seguros (2.2) 2016
1. GC Liberty Seguros (2.2) 2016
1. stage Artic Race of Norway(HC)2017
1.x2 stage Oberösterrichrundfahrt 2017
1. stage Loir et Cher (2.2) 2017
2. GC Arctic Race of Norway (HC) 2017
2. stage Arctic Race of Norway (HC)2017
3. stage Tour of Norway (HC) 2016
3.x2 stage Tour of Norway (HC) 2017
3. stage Tour des Fjords (2.1) 2016
3.x2 stage Tour des Fjords (2.1) 2017
4. GC Tour des Fjords (2.1)2016
5. GC Tour of Norway (HC)2017
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