The ruling body for world cycling competitions, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has announced that the Israel Cycling Academy has qualified for the UCI World Tour circuit - including the Tour de France - for the first time ever.
The Israeli team is now eligible to compete in some of the most prestigious races in the international circuit, including the illustrious French competition.
The owners of the team, Silvan Adams and Ron Bar-On, welcomed the UCI's announcement. They were to hold a press conference on Wednesday, at which they would introduce the team, among them many Israeli riders, and discuss their future plans.
The Academy's team all arrived in Israel on Tuesday, sporting some star riders: Irish two-time Tour de France winner Daniel Martin, and probably one of the best riders today, Andre Greipel of Germany who has won a total of 156 medals for various races.
Following the press conference, the team will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and the memorial of the legendary cyclist and Righteous Among the Nations, Gino Bartali.
The Academy will hold an intensive training camp for the team, which includes a 10-day cross country ride from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert in the south and ending in Jerusalem.
The Israel Cycling Academy was founded five years ago to encourage and develop young cyclists in Israel.
The first win for the team was in the fourth leg of the UCI race Tour de Azerbaijan, won by Daniel Turek.
The highlight of the academy was participating in the 2018 Giro d'Italia, held for the first time in Israel that year. The team finished in 19th place among the 22 teams that competed.
Among the riders that took place at that race were the two Israeli cyclists Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv, who were the first Israelis to ever take part at a Grand Tour.
The Israel Cycling Academy also took part in the 2019 Giro d'Italia.
First published: 14:32 , 12.11.19