Israel Start-Up Nation signs Vanmarcke to lead Classics squad

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Sep Vanmarcke is headed to Israel Start-Up Nation to lead the team in the Classics after four years with EF, his new team announced on Thursday.

Vanmarcke’s resume includes wins at the Bretagne Classic and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to go with a long list of close calls in the biggest cobbled Classics. He has finished as highly as second at Paris-Roubaix (behind Fabian Cancellara in 2013) and third at the Tour of Flanders (in 2014 and 2016).

The 32-year-old Belgian started his WorldTour career in 2011 with two seasons at the Garmin organization and spent four seasons with the Belkin team that would later become Jumbo-Visma before returning to what is now EF. He has made 19 starts across Flanders and Roubaix over the course of his career so far.

Vanmarcke’s arrival at Israel Start-Up Nation coincides with the departure of 2019 Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt, who is headed to Bora-Hansgrohe after one season with the team.

Vanmarcke is coming aboard on a three-year deal.

“He is a strong rider for the Flemish Classics and he will be our leader,” said Israel Start-Up Nation sport director Eric van Lancker, who worked with Vanmarcke at Garmin-Sharp in 2012. “He is a rider who can be top and he will certainly get all our help to succeed. I am looking forward to working with him again.”

In the team’s statement, Vanmarcke said that his “main objective is to win the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix in the next few years.”

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