Posted by Editoress on 01/7/21
Two Canadians have signed with the Israel Cycling Academy's Continental squad for 2021. Ben Perry rode with the team in 2020 before joining the Astana - Premier Tech WorldTour team for 2021. Both Riley Pickrell and Robin Plamondon have represented Canada multiple times as Juniors, with Pickrell a multi-time stage winner at the Tour de l'Abitibi.
In a release, the team said:
"The Israel Cycling Academy Continental team will continue in 2021, with its efforts to grow Israeli talent to the WorldTour level strengthened in the upcoming season.
In a strategic move to bolster the current development model, team management is turning Israel Cycling Academy into an under-23 team. The main purpose of ICA is to develop talent - especially Israeli - to a WorldTour level and the U23 designation contributes to that mission.
Being a U23-team allows ICA to compete in races that would normally not be open Continental teams.
"The idea of focusing completely on a U23 team is that it will allow us to field strong teams in the biggest U23 races like Liege-Bastogne-Liege and, hopefully, the Baby Giro," says Zak Dempster, the head sports director of the Continental team. "These races are critical for the development of young riders and it's imperative we are there fighting for results - if we are to develop the next generation of WorldTour riders within our structure."
The co-founder and owner of the team is Canadian-Israeli business man Sylvan Adams. Four Canadians are on the WorldTour squad - Guillaume Boivin, Alex Cataford, James Piccoli and new 2021 signing Mike Woods.
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