Dan Martin has signed a two-year contract with Israel Cycling Academy, the UCI Pro Continental team announced today.
The 32 year-old Irish rider has spent the past two seasons with UAE Team Emirates having raced previously with Quick Step and Garmin. The team have previously stated their determination to race in the Tour De France as early as 2020. The only other rider announced to-date who will also join the team next year is Hugo Hofstetter who signs from Cofidis.
The team made the announcement on Facebook and Dan Martin spoke about his move to the team saying: “I have so much respect for what ICA want to achieve , I just want to be part of it. I feel it’s time for me to step into a new and exciting challenge. Not only will I be able to help this great project reach its exciting goals, but also a great opportunity for me to refresh myself and improve further.
“ICA has shown huge confidence in me – so together we can create something truly special to improve across the board”. I have not reached my peak and I strongly believe that the best is yet to come for ICA and myself.”
“We see Dan Martin as the start of our big leap,” said Team Manager Kjell Carlstrom. “After several years during which we were progressing step by step, we have now found the moment to strengthen the team significantly with a leader of Dan’s calibre. He will offer the team a lot with his vast experience but even more importantly, he will play a huge role for us as a GC man in stage races. We had a good team in the last few years but now we are stepping up with Dan and with more riders to follow!”
Martin has built an impressive palmares during his career including Grand Tour stages in the Tour De France (2013, 2018), the Vuelta a Espana (2011) as well as winning the monuments Liege Bastogne – Liege (2013) and Il Lombardia (2014). He has also performed well in GC including winning Vuelta Catalunya overall and he has finished 6th overall in the Tour de France 2017 and 8th in 2018.
“I have seen ICA grow as a team organisation from the outside and I am excited to be able to join it now,” Martin went on to say. “The belief and support shown to me by ICA is a great reason why I decided that this is a unique opportunity. In the Last 6 or 7 years I have been following the same pro tour calendar and I am looking forward to changing it a bit and discovering new races. ICA has enjoyed a very good season in 2019 and the roster will be even more competitive in 2020”.