Thursday, 22 Oct 2020 - 4 of Heshvan, 5781

Cyclist Guy Niv makes history as first Israeli to complete the Tour de France

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“He is such a brave kid,” said team owner Sylvan Adams. “He faced the country’s and the team’s expectations and never blundered. As a team, we were in the game in almost every stage, and although we did not get the coveted stage win, ISN finished with 7 top 10s and we were part of many breakaways. I can promise you that we will be back next year with a strengthened team which will be led by the greatest cyclist of the generation – Chris Froome. We are just getting started.”

 

“I dreamed about racing in the Tour as a kid. I even witnessed it as a spectator on the side of the road. Now, I hope that this dream will be shared by many Israeli kids who will follow my footsteps and surpass me,” declared Israeli cyclist Guy Niv who made history on Sunday  as he became the first ever Israeli cyclist to start and complete the legendary Tour de France.

Niv was riding as part of the Team Israel Start-Up Nation squad, which was competing in the Tour for the first time. Completing the biggest professional cycling race of all, represents a remarkable accomplishment for Niv who, until three years ago, was primarily a mountain biker and had little experience in road racing.

“I felt shivers when I crossed the finish line on the Champs-Elysees. It was a sense of vast relief and sheer happiness: I have done it for the next generation of young Israeli cyclists. They can now dream of achieving this and more,” he commented.

Niv readily admitted it was far from a “walk in the park,” saying “I had to dig deep inside at times.”

There were undoubtedly challenging moments, with the most dramatic of all during the final hour of stage 17, when Niv was climbing to Meribel – the second HC climb of the day. Niv commented, “I suddenly felt empty. Like when your fuel tank is suddenly drained. My BPM was rocketing but my power was dipping. I had nothing. But I said to myself that I just couldn’t give up and I finally made it. In retrospect, we discovered that I had not eaten enough after the first climb.”

In general, Niv surprised both his teammates and the Team Israel Start-Up Nation directors with the relative ease with which he was able to handle his first Tour de France. “Guy impressed us all,” said the team’s sports director Eric Van Lancker. “He knew that the whole country – Israel – was looking up to him, and he dealt with that pressure admirably. We are proud of him.”

“He is such a brave kid,” said team owner Sylvan Adams. “He faced the country’s and the team’s expectations and never blundered. As a team, we were in the game in almost every stage, and although we did not get the coveted stage win, ISN finished with 7 top 10s and we were part of many breakaways. I can promise you that we will be back next year with a strengthened team which will be led by the greatest cyclist of the generation – Chris Froome. We are just getting started.”

Niv’s historic accomplishment has been covered widely in the Israeli media, making him one of the country’s most celebrated athletes in a sport which is usually eclipsed by football and basketball.

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