Gallery: Israel Start-Up Nation at the 2020 Tour de France

Sep 22, 2020

ISRAEL START-UP NATION AT THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Race Gallery

2020 will go down in history as the start of something new for Israel Start-Up Nation, as their first year in the World Tour and their debut appearance at the spectacular Tour de France.

Over three weeks, they’ve endured endless kilometres, sprint battles like no other and mountains galore. Here, we take a look inside the race with the team…

Bettini Photos

Noa Arnon

There was no time to muck about at this year’s Tour de France as following a wet, crash-marred opening stage, stage two then ventured straight into the testing Alps, surrounding Nice.

 The challenging, climber friendly stage proved quite the test for most, with the Col de la Colmaine, Col de Turini and the Col d’Eze all on the mountain menu.

 A day in the pain cave for the majority of the peloton, and a nice test for Israel Start-Up Nation to test their legs and  set the scene for the weeks to come.

Bettini Photo

The next morning, French sprinter Hugo Hofstetter woke up grinning as the mountains were switched out for the flats and he whipped out his ONE.

Guided by one of the best sprinters of all time, André Greipel, he stormed into the finish in Sisterson to finish a commendable 4th. Satsisfied with his form, yet left hungy for more…

Noa Arnon

Gruber Images

Stage four was another cruel throw into the mountains, featuring the tour’s first summit finish up the Ocières-Merletteas. From the Dévoluy mountains, onto the Haute-Alpes, there was little to no respite as the road continued to rise up and down repeatedly throughout the day.

Israel Start-Up Nation animated the stage in the day’s breakaway starring Krists Neilands and Nils Politt. Following a gutsy performance, and as the last man standing of the break, Neilands ended the day on the podium, awarded the most combative rider.

Noa Arnon

Noa Arnon

Following a few demanding day’s through the hills, as expected, the Tour de France’s Stage seven was windswept and action-filled as the race travelled from Millau to Lavaur through some wind prominent regions. The supposedly flat sprint stage included a series of gruelling ‘bumps’ along the way, ensuring no easy feat for the sprinters and their team’s chaperoning them into position.

Israel Start-Up Nation had Hugo Hofstetter right in the mix to finish the day in 7th. 

Gruber Images

Stage eight of the Tour de France took its first turn into the Pyrenees and dived right into the heart of them with a selection of demanding, iconic Pyrenean cols to really get the legs burning and put the climbers to the test. Within the space of 100km, they faced the Col de Menté followed by the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde all within close proximity, proving little to no respite for most of the stage.

Ben Hermans had a stellar ride, as part of the day’s breakaway that stayed clear, finishing the stage in 6th place.

Bettini Photo

Gruber Images

Noa Arnon

After what was a brutally tough stage nine, the riders were well and truly due their first rest day. This gave us an opportunity to share with you the details of our brand new bike, the OSTRO VAM.

Bikes were redialed, legs were rested and Israel Start-Up Nation were ready to be back on the pedals comes stage ten.

Having suffered some setbacks early race, André Greipel proved he’s certainly still got it as he sprinted in for 6th place.

Bettini Photo

Noa Arnon

Stage twelve from Chauvigny to Sarran Corrèze was the longest of this year’s tour at 218km. Challenging not only for its length, but the harsh series of consistent hills dotted along the route that travelled through the Vienne and Haute-Vienne areas. The kind of terrain that starts to really bite with seldom recovery from one climb to the next.

Opportunist, Nils Politt was once again, on the attack, part of the breakaway representing Israel Start-Up Nation at the pointy end of the race.

 

Bettini Photos

The following day was one not to miss. Traveling through the Massif Central from Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary and covering a damaging 4,400m of climbing, it was a day of suffering for all…

Throughout the stage’s duration, a succession of seven categorised climbs were encountered, ensuring the damage was well and truly done coming into the final Puy Mary ascent to the finish atop.

Ride of the day went to Dan Martin who endured a tough opening week battling with an injury sustained at the Daupine. He pushed through today, to find himself in the day’s winning breakaway, where he put in a great fight to finish in 11th.

Gruber Images

Bettini Photo

Gruber Images

Noa Arnon

Stage fifteen was another agonisingly tough day from Lyon, venturing East for 175km for a summit finish up the testing 17km Grand Colombier climb in the Jura mountain range.

As expected, the climb saw an explosion in the General Classification standings and some serious time in the pain cave endured by all. With the second rest day on the radar, however, it was enough added motivation to grit teeth and tick off another solid day at the Tour de France.

Bettini Photo

Gruber Images

On stage seventeen, the race well and truly entered the Alps for the Queen Stage, and as always, they put on quite the show.

The first big challenge didn’t come until 90km in at the base of the 17km Col de la Madeleine, with a stinging 8.4% average gradient. Safe to assume, there were some very weary legs climbing their way to its peak, following a gruelling route through the Vercours mountains the day prior…

At the head of the race, it was all eyes on Dan Martin, who made the day’s five-man breakway early on, with some big names for company. Following a valiant effort, he was reeled in by the quickly moving GC group behind as they approached the lengthy Col de la Loze that would climb to a summit finish at 2,304m in Meribel. 

Bettini Photo

Noa Arnon

Gruber Images

The mountains kept calling the next day from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron, including a succession of four challenging categorised climbs and over 4000m of climbing.

The stage’s first obstacle came early on up the Cormet de Roseland, with the Col de Saises, Les Aravis and Plateau des Glières all to follow and a bit of gravel thrown in the mix to add to the day’s excitement…

A tough day in the saddle for the team, that saw them lose team leader, André Greipel. The 11 x Tour de France stage winner reluctantly was forced to withdraw following the effects of an early race crash and sickness. He’ll be back!

Gruber Images

Bettini Photo

Noa Arnon

Gruber Images

The penultimate stage included the tour’s first race against the clock, finishing at the top of the 5.9km La Planche des Belles Filles.

A sole opportunity for Israel Start-Up Nation to whip out their SLiCK’s and enjoy one last hurrah before Paris.

Bettini Photos

Gruber Images

Noa Arnon

As always, the final run into Paris was nothing short of spectacular as the peloton closed out a huge three weeks along the iconic Champs-Élysées. Hugo Hofstetter was once again right in the sprint mix to finish in 8th on the stage.

A big congratulations to Israel Start-Up Nation for conquering your first Tour de France. It was an honour to support you on your debut journey, and see Factor Bikes back on the roads of France where they belong. We’re confident this is only just the beginning.

Gruber Images

Photography in this gallery by Jered & Ashley Gruber / Noa Arnon / Bettini Photo

Factor Bikes Ridden in the Tour

Read the latest news and articles from Factor

A Swiss Vista Adventure with Demi Vollering and Marit Raaijmakers

A Swiss Vista Adventure with Demi Vollering and Marit Raaijmakers

This June, professional Parkhotel Valkenburg cyclist’s Demi Vollering and Marit Raaijmakers decided to maximise their time at home without racing by embarking on a ten-day bike packing adventure through Switzerland. A dream experience for both riders, that they were...

Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar
EUR Euro