Israeli cyclists to take part in Tour de France for the first time
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Israeli cyclists to take part in Tour de France for the first time

Riders from the Jewish state will participate with the Katusha team subject to approval from sporting authorities

Krists Neilands (LAT - Israel Cycling Academy) - photo Jan de Meulenier/ PN// BettiniPhoto©2019)
Krists Neilands (LAT - Israel Cycling Academy) - photo Jan de Meulenier/ PN// BettiniPhoto©2019)

Israeli cyclists will take part in the Tour de France for the first time next year, after a deal to ride in the World Tour under the name of an existing licence-holder.

The Israel Cycling Academy (ICA), which was only established five years ago, agreed to take control of the Katusha team, subject to approval from world cycling authorities, after Katusha renewed its licence for three years.

“I’ve said for some time that ICA would be in the World Tour sooner or later,” said Canadian-born ICA co-owner Sylvan Adams, who brought the Giro d’Italia to Israel in 2018. “I am excited that it is happening right away for next year’s season.”

The World Tour includes all of the sport’s biggest races, including the Tour de France, and ICA co-owner Ron Baron was left enthused at the prospect of seeing Israeli riders racing for a World Tour Israeli professional team.

“I am sure that this step will enhance our core vision to develop Israeli cycling on the world stage,” he said. “To see an Israeli rider in the Tour de France next season will be, for me, very satisfying.”

ICA was founded in December 2014 in Jerusalem as Israel’s first professional cycling team. In 2017 the team took began to take part in the Pro Continental ranks and in 2018 it raced in its first Grand tour – the Giro d’Italia that started in Jerusalem.

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