Israel Start-Up Nation has strengthened itself for the coming cycling season with climber Michael Woods. The 33-year-old Canadian comes over from EF Pro Cyling and becomes the right-hand man of leader Chris Froome.

Woods must take the Israeli WorldTour team by the hand in the classics and monuments and will assist four-time Tour de France winner Froome, who comes over from Team INEOS, in the hunt for another overall victory in France.

"With Froome and the various other acquisitions, I believe that Israel Start-Up Nation can not only win the Tour, but also other races on the WorldTour calendar," Woods said Wednesday on the site of his new team.

"I think it's a great prospect to ride the Tour de France in the service of the best classification rider of this generation. And with Dan Martin already on board, I foresee a winning team in the Ardennes and the Italian classics."

Woods has been riding for EF Pro Cycling for the past five years. He came 'only' five times in a big round, with a seventh place in the Vuelta a España of 2017 being his highest result. Last year he won Milan-Turin.

Woods not reinforcement first

Israel Start-Up Nation is now busy building the team around Froome. In recent days, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT), Patrick Bevin (CCC) and Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) have also been recorded.

Before Froome can focus on his new team, the Tour de France with Team INEOS awaits him first. There is a considerable chance that he will be in the service of defending champion Egan Bernal there.

See also: The new 2020 cycling calendar for men and women