Peter Sagan leading Israel’s first pro cycling team .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
One of the most prestigious cycling races in the world is on its way to Israel.
According to Cycling Weekly, the 2018 Giro d’Italia will start in Jerusalem and become the first Grand Tour to begin outside of Europe.
The announcement is expected to be made in Israel in August.
The race is supposed to get under way in Jerusalem, possibly with a time trial before then continuing with two road stages, one to the south, and perhaps one ending in Tel Aviv.
As with recent editions of the Giro d’Italia, an extra travel rest day is expected to soften the journey.
The budget of hosting the first three stages is set to reach an estimated 12 million euro, with around four million going directly to the organizer for the hosting rights.
Froome stays in control after action-packed ninth stage
Chris Froome escaped unscathed after an action-packed ninth stage of the Tour de France as one his main rivals and his Team Sky lieutenant crashed out of the race on Sunday.
The defending champion, who was attacked by Fabio Aru just as he suffered a mechanical problem on the last climb, ended up third at the end of a 181.5-kilometer trek in the Jura Mountains won by Colombian Rigoberto Uran ahead of France’s Warren Barguil.
Briton Froome had his rivals to thank, however, as none of them took turns in front while he was changing his bike in the lung-busting ascent to the Mont du Chat.
The scene was reminiscent of the 2010 Tour when Alberto Contador attacked Andy Schleck on the ascent to the Port de Bales when his rival’s chain snapped.
“I had a mechanical problem with my gears, I had to change bike,” said three-time Tour champion Froome.
“I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack,” he added, saying he did not see Aru attacking past him as he raised his arm to ask for assistance.
“Richie Porte was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.”
Froome was already without team mate Geraint Thomas, who abandoned after crashing in the slippery descent of the Col de la Biche, one of three out-of-category ascents of the day.
In the final descent to Chambery, Australian Porte, regarded as Froome’s main challenger ahead of the three-week event, went off the road into a wall of rocks.
“He was conscious, it’s reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital,” race doctor Florence Pommery said.
Overall, Froome leads Aru by 18 seconds and Romain Bardet by 51 as two-time winner Alberto Contador, who crashed twice, cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention. Three-time podium finisher Nairo Quintana of Colombia also struggled, losing 1:15 to Froome and his group. He is now eighth overall, a massive 2:13 off the pace.
Monday is a rest day and the fight for the overall title is set to resume on Thursday with the first big Pyrenean stage.
Reuters contributed to this report.