When the Tour de France begins on August 29, history will be made as the Israel Start-Up Nation team line up for stage 1 in Nice and become the first Israeli team to ever appear in the Tour, with the race’s first ever Israeli rider among them. For a team that only launched five years ago, it will be the crowning moment of a rapid elevation to the biggest stage in the sport. “The dream of competing in the Tour de France, almost unthinkable only five years ago when we launched the team, is now coming true,” said co-owner Sylvan Adams at the squad’s 2020 team presentation in December.

Every team comes into cycling with big ambitions. Yet for every MTN-Qhubeka or Bora Argon, there’s an Aqua Blue Sport or One Pro Cycling, squads who made a lot of noise when they started out but who didn’t last more than a few seasons when they encountered the inevitable hurdles. Even Vital Concept-B&B Hotels, the high profile French ProConti squad who launched in 2018 with the sole aim of racing the Tour, have had to wait three

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