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Sunday, November 24, 2019

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Israel Cycling Academy signs Alex Dowsett and Reto Hollenstein

Here's the team's announcement:

Tel Aviv – November 23, 2019: Israel Cycling Academy welcomes two new riders for the 2020 season.

The British time trialist Alex Dowsett and the Swiss team player Reto Hollenstein will strengthen the team next season as it awaits UCI final approval to move up into the World Tour status.

Alex Dowsett

Alex Dowsett setting a new World Hour Record in 2015.

Both riders come from Team Katusha Alpecin and have many years of experience at the highest level in professional cycling.

The 31-year-old Dowsett proved his time trial abilities frequently in his career. Last season he just missed out on a medal during the World Championships in Yorkshire. However, he is the six times current national champion of Great Britain in the discipline.

On top of this, Dowsett won the time trial (stage in the 2013 edition of the Giro d'Italia and beat Rohan Dennis' hour record in 2015. Dowsett managed to do 52,937 kilometres in sixty minutes.

The 1.97m tall Hollenstein is still chasing his first victory in his professional cycling career. The 34-year-old Swiss rider will primarily get a role as a domestique during the classics and stage races.

Reto Hollentstein

Reto Hollenstein riding the 2016 Tour of Romandie. Sirotti photo

Both riders are excited to join the Israel Cycling Academy next season.

Dowsett commented: “I think ICA is a very progressive team with a focus on performance without compromise. There seems to be modern-day think- ing. As a rider, that is all I ask for.

"I also think a name change should be considered. A step up to the World Tour surely means Israel Cycling Academy has graduated from an Academy to a great team now."

Hollenstein, who turned professional in 2009, is happy that ICA will move on into the WorldTour.

"I will be part of a great team that has improved amazingly over the last few years. I want to share my experience to strengthen the team. We can reach all our goals and share our successes. I want to perform to my best level, and I am looking forward to working for the team leaders."

Pro Manager Kjell Carlström is excited about the two new faces in the ICA team for 2020. "I am absolutely sure that both riders will strengthen the team in many ways. Alex is great in ITT's and TTT's, but also in supporting the team, for example, in bringing key riders into position."

"Also, Reto has been a solid helper in both classics as in stage races before." Carlström continued: "He is experienced, knows what he is doing, and is therefore super valuable for the team."

For Dowsett, it will be the tenth year in the WorldTour, and he also has the Olympic Games in sight. "I am looking forward to it and strongly focused on the Olympic Games. Obviously, I first need to get selected for the national team. Afterward, I want to win the gold medal in Tokyo. Israel Cy- cling Academy is a perfect fit for these goals."

Previously, ICA has announced that four other Katusha Alpecin riders will join its ranks: Rick Zabel, Mads Wurtz Schmidts, Dani Navarro, and Belgian Jenthe Biermans will also join the Israel Cycling Academy in 2020.

Alex Dowsett:

Born in Maldon, Great-Britain on October 3, 1988

Turned professional in 2011

Career highlights:

• Broke the hour record in 2015
• Gold medalist Commonwealth Games in 2014
• Silver medalist Commonwealth Games in 2010
• Six times national time trial champion of Great Britain, including 2019
• Stage in the Giro d'Italia (2013)
• Bayern Rundfahrt (2015)

Teams:
2010 Trek–Livestrong
2011–2012 Team Sky
2013–2017 Movistar Team 2018–2019Team Katusha–Alpecin Reto

Reto Hollenstein:

• Born in Frauenfeld, Switzerland on August 22, 1985
• Turned professional in 2009
• Married and has two kids, a boy, and a girl
• Motto: Never give up

Career highlights:
• Second place GC Baloise Belgium Tour (2016)
• 3rd place 3rd stage in Baloise Belgium Tour (2016)
• 9th in the ITT World Championships in Qatar (2016)

Teams:
2008 Atlas-Romer's Hausbäckerei
2009–2011 Vorarlberg
2012 NetApp
2013–2016 IAM
2017–2019 Katusha Alpecin

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