Tour de France (Hillel Maeir/TPS) (Hillel Maeir/TPS)
Tour de France

Israel Premier Tech team competes for the fourth time in the prestigious race that kicked off in Bilbao, Spain, and will end in Paris.

By Naama Barak, ISRAEL21c

The Israel Premier Tech cycling team is preparing for the 2023 Tour de France, which kicked off its 110th edition on July 1.

The contest, which took off from Bilbao, Spain, will see 22 teams cycle their way to the finish line in the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 23.

While this is the fourth time an Israeli team competes in the prestigious race, none of its eight riders are actually Israeli. There’s Guillaume Boivin (Canada), Simon Clarke (Australia), Hugo Houle (Canada), Krists Neilands (Latvia), Nick Schultz (Australia), Corbin Strong (New Zealand), Dylan Teuns (Belgium) and Michael Woods (Canada).

And yet, the team is sporting jerseys inspired by the Israel National Trail colors: orange, white and blue, representing the Israeli desert, coastline and Mount Hermon, respectively.

Israeli cycling team races in Tour de France
The jerseys for the Israel team at this year’s Tour de France represent a different scenic journey – the Israel National Trail. Photo courtesy of Israel Premier Tech

“Last year, we won two rather spectacular stages at the Tour de France, so the bar is high for us to exceed that result,” says IPT partner Sylvan Adams.

“But the team we are sending this year is a strong one, and certainly can compete for stage wins. Our eight riders, including three Canadians, are a cohesive group, that have been training and racing together, most recently at La Route d’Occitanie, which served as a tune-up race for the Tour, where Mike Woods took the GC victory. I think our talented IPT squad will surprise some viewers this year. We are ready for an exciting tour.”

In recent years, Israel has competed in multiple international cycling contests, such as the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, which in 2018 started off in Jerusalem.

TIME magazine recommended biking in Jerusalem as one of 50 extraordinary travel ideas for 2023.

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