Cyclists compete on the urban circuit of the 100-km Gran Fondo Buenos Aires race in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 23, 2015. About 800 cyclists took part in the first Gran Fondo Buenos Aires race. (Xinhua/Jose Casal/TELAM) (jp)
Cyclists compete on the urban circuit of the 100-km Gran Fondo Buenos Aires race in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 23, 2015. About 800 cyclists took part in the first Gran Fondo Buenos Aires race. (Xinhua/Jose Casal/TELAM) (jp)

For the first time, an Israeli cyclist will compete in the world’s biggest professional cycling race, the Tour de France, Team Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) announced Wednesday.

According to ISN, 26-year-old Guy Niv was selected by the team as one of its eight squad members in the competition that begins on August 29.

“Niv’s selection represents a remarkable accomplishment for a cyclist who, until three years ago, was primarily a mountain biker and had little experience in road racing,” the team noted.

Team ISN will also make history as the first Israel-based and owned team to race in the Tour de France, after signing an agreement with Russian-owned Swiss team Katusha-Alpecin in October 2019 to participate under its license.

“I am honored and privileged to represent my country and team in the biggest race in cycling and one of the greatest sporting events in the world,” Niv said. “It’s a dream come true to be the first Israeli to do so. I have goosebumps just thinking about it.”

He added: “I hope that my start in the Tour de France will inspire children in Israel to choose cycling as their sport.”

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