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Taking over Katusha’s WorldTour license for 2020, Israel Cycling Academy will be one of two new outfits in the top ranks of men’s road cycling. With the move up come a handful of new supporters, including premium racing brand Factor Bikes which has announced it will be supplying bikes to the team for a three-year period, taking over from De Rosa.
Arguably the smallest bike company in the WorldTour, Factor Bikes previously sponsored French outfit AG2R during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and stepped back to Pro Continental-level sponsorship with Roompot-Charles for the 2019 season.
Factor Bikes’ sister company, Black Inc, will be supplying wheels and cockpit components to the team while CeramicSpeed and Selle Italia are confirmed as equipment sponsors. Maxxis is the tyre sponsor and makes its debut in the WorldTour. CyclingTips was informed by Factor Bikes’ owner, Rob Gitelis, that the team will ride with disc-equipped bikes and use Shimano components.
Factor Bikes will continue its sponsorship of the Parkhotel Valkenburg professional women’s team for the 2020 season.
Israel Cycling Academy has recently announced a number of riders that will join the squad as it steps up to the WorldTour. Most recent additions are Nils Politt, Alex Dowsett and Reto Hollenstein, all previously of Katusha-Alpecin, who join former teammates Rick Zabel, Mads Wurtz Schmidt, Dani Navarro and Jenthe Biermans. Dan Martin, Rory Sutherland and Andrew Greipel are also confirmed to race with Israel Cycling Academy in 2020.
Update: We’ve now published a full interview with Rob Gitelis in which we discuss the specifics of the Factor Bikes/Israel Cycling Academy deal, what the WorldTour means to a new brand, and much more.