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The Two biggest races of the season: The riders,...

Israel Cycling Academy, le texte de sa publication du 05-05-2019 19:49:25 :
The Two biggest races of the season: The riders, the goals.

ICA OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Israel Cycling Academy Press Release:

Headlines:

Italian Davide Cimolai will lead Israel Cycling Academy to its second Giro d’Italia with a clear goal: Win a stage, be aggressive, get an Israeli to the finish line of a Grand Tour for the second time in history.

Cimolai commented that “we are bringing a strong team. We can win a stage.”

Spaniard Ruben Plaza and an experienced, versatile team will try to better the team’s performance from the historic 2018 Giro, which started last year in Jerusalem.

Israeli Guy Niv has gotten the nod, while the first Israeli to finish a grand tour, Guy Sagiv, will head to the World Tour race at the Tour of California instead.

The team suffered a blow when Ben Hermans (knee) was scratched from their California lineup, but the team is still sending a strong lineup headed by Colombia Edwin Avila.

Tel-Aviv, May 5th

Israel Cycling Academy will send a “strong and versatile team” to its second ever Grand Tour, then 2019 Giro d’Italia, with a clear goal to win a stage and ride aggressively through one of the most difficult editions of the Giro in recent years.

The team’s management expressed confidence that it will be stronger and more experienced the that which took part in the historic 2018 Giro d’Italia, which started in Jerusalem last year. In particular, the team hopes to take advantage of its added ‘ammunition’ in the flat stages: its new Italian sprinter Davide “Cimo” Cimolai, who moved over to the team from Groupama-FDJ this winter.

“We feel that we can support “Cimo” and give him a chance to win for us,” said team manager Kjell Carlström. “He proved his ability this season with us and we feel we have a designated strong sprinter who can be there in the first part of the Giro.”

The team will include another Italian, Kristian Sbaragli, as well as Canadian Guillaume Boivin and Irish national road race champion Conor Dunne to support Cimolai. As well, the team is sending some strong climbers in Swedish-Eritrean Awet Gebremedhin and Israeli Guy Niv, and breakaway specialists Spaniard Ruben Plaza and Latvian Krists Neilands.

“Overall, we feel we have a balanced and versatile team [for] this Giro” said Carlström.

As an Israeli team with a very clear vision of developing Israeli Cyclists, the team stayed true to its identity by picking 25-year-old Israeli climber Guy Niv for its Giro lineup. This will be Niv’s second Giro, the last one ending in deep disappointment as a flu forced him to abandon during the 5th stage.
His teammate Guy Sagiv rose to hero status in his home country when he became the first Israeli to finish a Grand Tour last year. But Sagiv has endured a slow start of the season due to injuries. That has led the team’s staff to the decision that Niv deserves another chance:

“Niv showed consistency in his races this year, has improved significantly in all facets of his game and became stronger physically. With his understanding what is demanded for a rider in the Grand Tour after last year’s experience, we feel he is now ready to face the challenge successfully,” said Carlström.

Niv was enthusiastic to get the chance: “From the very moment I was forced to abandon in the Giro last year, I was on a personal mission to pay back the debt to myself and the team. I am confident that I will make it this time and be there in Verona in the last stage.”

Guy Sagiv backed the team decision to leave him of the Giro roster. He will instead ride the 2.UWT Tour of California in May. “Guy Niv deserved the decision to pick him. I did not have enough stage races this year so realistically the Tour of California suits me better. I have all the confidence in Guy Niv to make it to the Giro’s last stage in Verona. Of course, I am disappointed that I will miss it, but Niv is the right choice,” he stated.

Another bold decision for the team was to choose Eritrean-Swedish climber Awet Gebremedhin for the squad. This is only Gebremedhin’s second year as a pro,
having a dramatic life story that included spending a year almost starving before gaining refugee status in Sweden and the chance to race again.

“I am grateful,” he said. “I am still in a dream. I will do everything to justify the trust that ICA has put in me. If you would have asked me 4 years ago when I was hiding in a basement if this day will ever come, I would have said you are totally crazy. But it all happened: I got to meet my parents after years of separation, got married with my fiancée who I have not seen for 5 years, and now the Giro. I worked hard for this but it’s still unbelievable.”

Cimolai, the Italian sprinter who joined Israel Cycling Academy this year with the new role of top sprinter after years of working for others, was equally happy and hopeful. He enjoyed a successful start with ICA, finishing second on stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico behind Julian
Alaphilippe, winning two stages and the GC (his first ever overall win) in the Vuelta a Castilla Leon, and most recently finishing 4th in Eschborn- Frankfurt.

“It will be my first Giro and to do it with ICA is just wonderful. They gave me a chance to be a leader and trusted me. Now I want to reward my team with a stage victory and with the squad we have it’s definitely possible.”

The team also announced its lineup for the Amgen Tour of California, headed by Colombian Edwin Avila. Norwegian sprinter Sondre Holst Enger, Swiss climber Matteo Badilatti, and two Israelis, Guy Sagiv and Roy Goldstein, also made the cut.

“With 30 riders in our team we are ready to face our biggest races of the season having the ability to put in line two strong teams and that’s what we were able to do,” said ICA pro manager Carlström.

“We were definitely dealt with a big blow with the knee injury to our top GC rider Ben Hermans in the Flèche Wallonne classic 10 days ago. We intended that he will be our GC man in California, but he just could not recuperate on time, so we needed to change strategy: Instead of going with GC aspirations to California we send a very versatile team that can be in contention at every stage.

We have two fast riders (Avila and Enger), a great climber (Badilatti) and guys for breakaways like Canadian Alex Cataford, plus two Israelis with very special motivation. Because for us as an Israeli team its’ like racing in our second home in many ways. This is very important to us: to reach a huge and supportive audience on the other side of the ocean and compete at the highest level you can find.”

Israeli Champion Roy Goldstein: “For us, it’s really home away from home. I expect so many Israeli flags on the side of the roads. It will give us goosebumps and amazing motivation. I followed this race for years and it will be great to take part in it.”

“I am excited that Israel Cycling Academy will be racing in the iconic Amgen Tour of California for the first time in mid-May,” said ICA co- owner Sylvan Adams. “

“With a California Jewish population of nearly 2 million, including approximately 500,000 Israeli expats, I expect that ICA riders will feel the warmth from friendly spectators along the route, waving the Israeli blue and white flag, cheering for their team. The riders are motivated to race a great race in front of what they consider to be a real home crowd.”

ICA Squads: Giro d’Italia 🇮🇹

Davide Cimolai 🇮🇹
Ruben Plaza 🇪🇸
Krists Neilands 🇱🇻
Guillaume Boivin 🇨🇦
Conor Dunne 🇮🇪
Guy Niv 🇮🇱
Awet Gebremedhin 🇪🇷
Kristian Sbaragli 🇮🇹

Tour of California 🇺🇸

Edwin Avila 🇨🇴
Guy Sagiv 🇮🇱
Roy Goldstein 🇮🇱
Matteo Badilatti 🇨🇭
Hamish Schreurs🇳🇿
Alex Cataford 🇨🇦
Sondre Holst Enger 🇳🇴

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IsraelCyclingAcademyIsrael's first Pro cycling team.
Developing and promoting the next generation of cyclists.
Racing in 2017 as a pro continental team !

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