Cycling: First day of Tour d’Israel marred by rider injury

Ronit Weissman helicoptered to Rambam Hospital; Ran Margaliot and Niv Livner win first stage.

Tour d’Israel 311 (photo credit: Ron Shelef/Courtesy )
Tour d’Israel 311
(photo credit: Ron Shelef/Courtesy )
Ran Margaliot and Niv Livner of the Israeli GO-PRO team won the first stage of the Tour d’Israel on Monday, completing the 148 kilometer course through the Golan Heights in four hours and 15 minutes.
The opening day of the inaugural Tour was marred by a serious injury suffered by Haifa-based biker Ronit Weissman, who was helicoptered to Rambam Hospital after falling and hitting her head on the road.
Weissman’s injury occurred as she attempted to negotiate a speed bump while riding through the Golan city of Katzrin. Doctors were waiting for results of tests on the 30-year-old at press time.
The race had been beset with problems in recent weeks, and the start was delayed by a day after organizers were unable to pay the entire fees demanded by police to cover the route.
This resulted in the first day being scrapped and the Tour starting on Monday instead of Sunday as originally planned.
Some124 cyclists, including dozens of international athletes, set offthrough the north of Israel on Monday, finishing in Nazareth.
The Tour will continue on Tuesday with a 193 km stage from Afula to Ein Bokek.
The race will finish on Thursday in Eilat.