For the first time ever, Israeli cyclists will be competing in the 2020 Tour de France.
The Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) bought out the existing Katusha management company, which will allow them to race under Katusha’s license (pending league approval) in all of the World Tour cycling events for the next three years, Cycling News reported.
The ICA was founded in 2014 by billionaire Sylvan Adams and Israeli businessman Ron Baron in an effort to help Israeli cycling reach the highest level of the sport.
The Israeli cycling team joined the Pro Continental ranks in 2017 and the team raced in the high profile Giro d’Italia that began in Jerusalem last year.
“I have stated for some time that ICA would be in the World Tour, sooner or later. I am excited that it is happening right away for next year’s season,” said Adams. “We have several new riders, including some from the current Katusha team that will join, and I promise we will make some noise in lots of big races next year. We are just getting started.’’
“I am sure that this step will enhance our core vision to develop Israeli Cycling on the world stage. To see an Israeli rider in the Tour De France next season will be, for me, very satisfying,” Baron said.
The team’s roster currently consists of thirty riders from eighteen different nationalities.
“The team has been growing each year in an organic way, both organizationally and also on the rider side, and we feel ready for this new challenge. We have great chemistry on this team, and I am proud of what we accomplished together. Really excited for next year,” said ICA manager Kjell Carlström
It remains to be seen who will be on the new roster, now that the purchase allows them to retain multiple riders from the Katusha squad who are still under contract, including 2019 Paris-Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt.