Sylvan Adams (C, blue), honorary president of Giro d'Italia's "Big Start" Israel, rides before the begining of the stage at the 101st Giro d'Italia cycling race in Jerusalem, May 4, 2018.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
The 2019 Giro d’Italia kicked off on Saturday in the Italian city of Bologna. For the second year in a row, the first and only Israeli professional cycling team, the Israel Cycling Academy, is taking part in the major bicycle race.
The Giro d’Italia has been around for over a century and is one of the three three-week-long Grand Tours, together with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
In 2018, Israel hosted the three opening stages of the Giro
, marking the first time that a Grand Tour held a stage outside Europe. For the occasion, thousands of people lined the streets in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and all over the country to cheer the riders.
For this edition, the ambition of the Israel Cycling Academy is to win at least a stage after coming close to it last year, team manager Kjell Carlström explained in a press conference on Wednesday.
Among its athletes, the team includes two Italian riders, Kristian Sbaragli and Davide Cimolai, and Awet Gebremedhin, an Eritrean refugee.
At the press conference, Israeli rider Guy Niv said that the Israel Cycling Academy has arrived at the Giro
stronger and with more confidence than last year. “The team believes in me. I’m coming here to be useful and help the team to achieve their goal,” he added.
will end on June 2nd, 2019, in the city of Verona.
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