Dan Martin joins Israel Cycling Academy on two-year deal

Israel Cycling Academy have announced that Dan Martin will join the team next season on a two-year deal.

The Irishman joins after spending two seasons with UAE Team Emirates. Highlights of his time with the team include stage wins at the Tour de France and Critérium du Dauphiné in 2018.

"By joining Israel Cycling Academy (ICA), our joint goal is to combine our huge appetite for success and to achieve our potential together," said Martin in a team press release. "I have so much respect for what ICA want to achieve. I just want to be part of it.

"I have seen ICA grow as a team organisation from the outside and I am excited to be able to join it now. The belief and support shown to me by ICA is a great reason why I decided that this is a unique opportunity.

Martin also indicated that he's looking forward to exploring different parts of the racing calendar, having targeted the Ardennes Classics, Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France in each of the past five seasons.

"In the last six or seven years I have been following the same [WorldTour] 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."

Israel Cycling Academy have achieved invitations to some of the biggest races in the sport in recent years, including the past two editions of the Giro d'Italia. This season the team has won the Tour of Austria with Ben Hermans and the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon with Davide Cimolai, while Hermans is currently leading the Tour of Utah having won two stages in a row.

The signing of Martin is their biggest statement of intent yet, and a signal of their increased ambitions going forward. Team co-owner Sylvan Adams called Martin a "bona-fide star", adding that he hopes the signing will bring many victories.

"We see Dan Martin as the start of our big leap," said team manager Kjell Carlström. "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," Carlström added, stating that more signings would follow.

The team, who have 24 wins on the board in 2019, has already announced the signing of Hugo Hofstetter from Cofidis.

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