THE International 2021 is on its way and with it the culmination of an ambition for Dr. Joe Arrindell. Joe, an established and well known osteopath living and working in Majorca, will be joining professional cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation for the season as one of their osteopaths. Joe first started working with professional athletes in 2003 when he was working in Belgium, and he started at the top, working on Eddie Merckx, a legendary Belgian cyclist.
“Even though he was already retired when I first met him, he was still really busy,” Joe tells me. This work ethic seems to be a common denominator shared by Joe and the athletes that he treats, “I have respect for the guys who get back on their bikes. They fall off and get back on, even if they are injured.
There aren’t many sports like that where you see people getting really hurt and all they want to do is finish the race.” It’s Joe’s job to put them back together again when they cross the line, and prepare them for the following day to do it all over again.
Either working with the team during training, or touring with the team during a competition, the role of the osteopath is crucial to the physical performance of the riders. Joe has already spent a few weeks this year working with the team during La Vuelta, where he worked with Irish rider Dan Martin and supported him to win Stage 3 of the 2020 Vuelta a España, a result that also took him up from 3rd to 2nd in the General classification. “It felt good to be working with the team, it is great to be amongst people who have a common goal and work together to achieve it”.
The team itself says “Israel Start Up Nation has 30 riders that stand in front of the media and events. However, it is much more than just the riders. This machine would never be able to run (or to be more accurate, cycle) without each and every member of the staff. On top of the riders, there are about 50 dedicated people who stand behind the team and support it. Sports directors, mechanics, teams’ doctors, soigneurs, osteopaths, bus drivers, logistic managers, chefs, photographers, media managers, finance team-members, commercial managers, community relations, coaches and many more… Take out one screw, and the machine just wouldn’t perform the same.”
One of the athletes that Joe will be working with next year is Chris Froome who will be joining the team for his first full season back from injury. “Chris will want to come back strong and show that he has recovered from his accident, and I am looking forward to working with him to give him the best possible chance”. (Froome endured a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow, and fractured ribs after a high-speed crash into a wall while training for the 4th stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné).
The team that both Joe and Chris Froome is also looking to show the public what it can do, being only in its second year with World Tour status. Israel Start-Up Nation was founded in 2014 and is based in Israel. The team includes the Israel Cycling Academy which has the aim of providing an opportunity for young and talented cyclists to compete in the international arena and launch their professional careers. The team owners, Ron Baron and Sylvan Adams, have set the team’s goal as participation in the world’s biggest races including the Tour de France, in order to continue inspiring and developing a new generation of Israeli cyclists.
Where is Joe off to first? “The training camp will be in Israel I think, in January”. His clients in Majorca will be well looked after with the remaining team at the Care 4 Health staying in place. As much as Joe feels that his work is valuable to the team, he also feels that Israel Start Up Nation improves him and the Care 4 Health team, “Once you are around somebody who is stronger or better than you it always helps you grow and develop”. It is a source of national pride for the team to continue to improve and compete on the world stage, “Heck,” says Joe, “let’s go win the Tour de France!”