First Arab Muslim rider joins Israel’s only professional cycling team

"I joined ICA to fulfil my biggest dream: Racing in the World Tour and Tour De France!" 23-year-old Chokri Elmehdi from Morocco said.

 Israel Team Start-Up Nation racing in the 2020 Men's Tour Down Under, a road cycling stage race that took place between 21 and 26 January in and around Adelaide, South Australia. (photo credit: BETTINI PHOTO)
Israel Team Start-Up Nation racing in the 2020 Men's Tour Down Under, a road cycling stage race that took place between 21 and 26 January in and around Adelaide, South Australia.
(photo credit: BETTINI PHOTO)
An Arab Muslim rider has joined the Israel Cycling Academy (ICA), the country’s only professional cycling team.
"I joined ICA to fulfil my biggest dream: Racing in the World Tour and Tour De France!" 23-year-old Chokri Elmehdi from Morocco said, according to a press release by the team.
"We are proud to have Chokri with us. Our doors are open to all," said team co-owner Ron Baron.
The Israel Cycling Academy was established in 2014 by Israeli Canadian philanthropist and ICA co-owner Sylvan Adams and Baron.
The team features 16 riders, half of them Israelis and the others from countries such as Canada, Colombia, Australia and Eritrea.
In October, they announced that in 2020 it would join the World Tour, racing in the world's biggest races including the prestigious Tour de France.
Last spring, ICA raced the Giro D'Italia for the second time in a row. The Giro d'Italia is one of the three week-long Grand Tours, together with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
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In 2018, Israel hosted the three opening stages of the Giro, marking the first time that a Grand Tour held a stage outside Europe.