Israel Start-Up Nation's process of building a Tour de France winning team around Chris Froome continues, announcing the signing of Carl Fredrik Hagen, their first new recruit since the Briton's move was announced last month. The 28-year-old Norwegian will swap his Lotto Soudal home and join the Israeli outfit at the beginning of the 2021 season.
As reported by TV2, the signing of Hagen is set to be announced at the opening of cycling's transfer window on the 1st of August.
A relative latecomer to the WorldTour, Hagen joined Lotto Soudal, aged 27, at the start of the 2019 season after a number of impressive performances that included victory on the queen stage of the 2017 Tour Alsace and the overall at the 2018 Tour du Jura.
He quickly confirmed his potential with 3rd on a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné before a late-season flourish in which he took 8th on GC at the Vuelta a España and 7th at the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. By virtue of his La Vuelta success, Hagen is set to lead Lotto Soudal's GC hopes at the Giro D'Italia, set to start on the 3rd October.
The news comes as Israel Start-Up Nation begin to build a Grand Tour winning team around six-time Grand Tour winner, Froome. Rumoured to be looking at Daryl Impey, the Israeli outfit has also extended contracts with James Piccoli, Matthias Brändle, Rick Zabel and Alex Cataford.
Hagen will undoubtedly become an important piece in Froome's 2021 Tour de France puzzle. A versatile all-rounder, it will be Hagen's consistency and prowess in the mountains that could prove invaluable to Froome and Israel Start-Up Nation as the Briton looks for his fifth yellow jersey.