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Froome left out of Israel Premier Tech Tour de France team

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome was on Friday left out of Israel Premier Tech’s  eight-rider roster for this year’s race.

The 38-year-old, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, insisted this was not the end of his Tour de France career. 

“I’m obviously disappointed with the decision. The Tour de France holds an incredibly special place in my heart,” he told cycling web site GCN.

“I respect the team’s decision and will take some time before refocusing on objectives later in the season and returning to the Tour de France in 2024.”

Froome has not won a race since he joined the team, then known as Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021 although he finished third in the Tour de France stage up the iconic Alpe d’Huez in 2022.

“It was a tough decision to select our Tour de France team this year but we feel we selected eight riders best suited to fulfilling our performance objectives,” said team boss Kjell Carlstrom in a statement.

“Unfortunately we could not select everyone.” 

IPT, a second-tier Pro Tour team, kept itself in the spotlight at last year’s Tour with two stage victories and at the recent Giro d’Italia with relentless daily attacks led by Canadian Derek Gee, who won the combativity award.

The IPT team will be led by Canadian Michael Woods, who won the Route d’Occitanie last week. 

“Last year, we won two rather spectacular stages at the Tour de France, so the bar is high for us to exceed that result,” said IPT investor Sylvan Adams.

“The team we are sending this year is a strong one, and certainly can compete for stage wins.”

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