Ride with the Israel national cycling team

April 5, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s only professional cycling team, Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN), is inviting fans from across the world to join a series of online team rides, in order to help secure protective masks for medical staff fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.

Israel Start-Up Nation team   Photo: Bettini Photo

The second ride in the series takes place today.

Australian rider Rory Sutherland will be participating as well as Aussie Freddy Ovett, who is part of the team’s development squad of promising young riders.

Earlier this month, Israel Start-Up Nation hosted an online ride to encourage the ‘stay at home’ message. It attracted around 1,000 participants, who cycled alongside ISN star riders, including German legend Andre Greipel, Israeli Champion Guy Sagiv, and British former world record-holder Alex Dowsett.

Building on this successful virtual event, ISN decided to take the concept one step further, using such rides via the Zwift online platform, to secure much needed medical masks for health professionals on the front line of the fight against Coronavirus. For each participant, a KN95 protective mask is being donated via ISN minority co-owner Dr Kevin Ham and the Canadian shipping company which he owns.

Thanks to the inaugural ISN medical aid ride last week, 1,500 KN95 masks were delivered to four hospitals in the Greater Vancouver area. “There are shortages everywhere,” explained Dr Kevin Ham, adding “We will certainly try to deliver one of the next shipments to places like New York.”

This week’s ISN medical aid ride, the second in the series, will be led by ISN’s British rider Alex Dowsett, a former world one-hour speed record holder, alongside Andre Greipel and Israeli riders Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv. International star, ISN’s Irish rider Dan Martin commented, “By staying at home and training indoors we are making our small contribution to this fight. This donation can make a huge difference to the frontline staff risking their lives to save others.”

Also joining Sunday’s ride will be ISN co-owner Sylvan Adams, who has overseen the team’s rise to the highest level of professional world cycling and was the driving force behind bringing the prestigious Giro d’Italia to begin in Israel in 2018. Adams said, “As we are not racing these days, the Israel Start-up Nation team is trying to stay physically active, with riders striving to keep their fitness for when racing re-starts. In Israel, we are not even allowed to ride outdoors. This is why ISN has created these indoor virtual rides, to connect with each other and also with our many fans and supporters.

And, there is a higher purpose: these rides will provide protective equipment to front line health workers, that has been generously donated by my partner, Kevin Ham. I’m looking forward to participating for the first time this Sunday and have gotten connected in order to ride with ISN and our fans. Please join us, it will be fun, and provide support to health workers in this difficult time.”

Sunday’s ride will begin at 4.30 pm in Israel, 11:30 pm AEST.

Fans with ‘Smart’ trainer-devices can join the ride on their own bikes through their phones, TV, or iPad screens.

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