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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
While not expecting to live up to its famous French counterpart, this week's Tour de Jerusalem hopes to attract crowds of Israel's most dedicated cyclists.
As part of the celebrations marking 40 years since Jerusalem's re-unification, the Israel Cycling Federation and the Neviot League will be hosting two days of bike races in Emek Ha'arazim and Emek Refaim.
On Thursday, a race featuring road bikes will follow the new Road No. 9. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski will be on hand to start the race. A few days after the race, the road will be officially opened to the public.
On Friday, a mountain bike race will leave from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and head out on a variety of challenging routes in the mountains around Jerusalem. There will be options for all skills levels, competitive and non-competitive.
The races will also showcase the new project by the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority to promote bike paths throughout Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The goal is to make exploring Jerusalem more accessible to cyclists.
Registration via www.bikeisrael.com. All participants will receive free gifts and discount tickets to the Biblical Zoo, as well as prizes for the top three finishers in each category.
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