Israel Cycling Academy sign sprinter Rudy Barbier from AG2R La Mondiale

Israel Cycling Academy are continuing their push toward a future invitation to the Tour de France, adding another French rider to the 2019 roster in the form of sprinter Rudy Barbier from AG2R La Mondiale.

The 25-year-old has ridden with AG2R for the past two seasons following four seasons on French Continental team Roubaix Lille Metropole. Barbier has two professional wins to his credit at the 2016 Cholet-Pays de Loire and the 2017 Paris-Bourges.

"Rudy has a great potential as a sprinter and in helping out in races," said the team manager Kjell Carlstrom. "We believe he can improve from where he is now with getting more possibilities in races. He can add to the strengths we have in races and add some valuable experience in others."

The signing is the second former WorldTour rider to join the team for 2019 after Israel Cycling Academy signed Matthias Brandle from Trek-Segafredo earlier this month as the team continue to grow.

"The desires and objectives in my new team were very obvious for both me and the team, and indeed it was very enjoyable to be presented with this kind of opportunity," Barbier said. "This will give me a lot of motivation in the months to come."

After gaining entry to the Giro d'Italia and its historic start in Israel this year, the team have made no secret of their desire to gain an invitation to the Tour de France in the future. In July, Israel Cycling Academy signed their first French rider in 26-year-old stagiaire Clement Carisey. Signing Barbier is another chance to boost their bid for the French Grand Tour.

Team co-owner Sylvan Adams said he was delighted with the new addition for 2019.

"We welcome Rudy Barbier to ICA" Adams said. " He is a good young rider whose signing brings additional strength to our Roster. Bienvenue chez ICA, Rudy."

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