From Grio d’Italia to Hungary!
After the announcement of the participation of French world-famous star team, Cofidis and Italy’s successful squad, Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec, now it is our sincere pleasure to share great news again: this year the pro continental team of Israel Cycling Academy will be at the start line of the Tour de Hongrie.
The team can be familiar to Hungarian fans because in 2016, as a continental team, Cycling Academy was among the patricipants. Moreover, they did not „just compete”: Mihkel Räim won the yellow jersey. Since then the 25-year-old Estonian national champion has reached 10 professional victories, his last greatest triumph was to win the 1.1 category The Great War Remembrance Race in Belgium.
Israel Cycling Academy became such a strong and really prestigious team since 2016: the pro continental club is having 30 professional cyclists from 18 countries. Last year they attended the Giro d’Italia and this year they will return to Italy’s biggest race again.
Among the riders we can find several former World-Tour stars, the most famous is Spain’s Rubén Plaza who has been competing for Orica, Lampre-Merida, Movistar Team, Caisse d’Epargne and during his carreer he has taken part in 6 Tour de France, 3 Giro d’Italia and 4 Vuelta a Espana. The number of his professional victories is 26, with two Vuelta and one Tour de France stage triumphs.
Further members of Israel Cycling Academy: Italian Sbaragli (3-3 Tour and Giro participations), Belgian Van Asbroek (1 Giro And 3 Vuelta participation), his mate, Hemrans (participated 4-times at Giro and twice at Vuelta), Cimolai from Italy (took part 5-times at Tour and once at Vuelta) or Austrian Brändle (1 Tour, 2 Vuelta and 3 Giro participations). If we mentioned Brändle, it is important to note that in 2014 he set a new world record of 60 min, with 51,852km. Well, it is not the current WR now, but still such a great achievement.
Let’s introduce some national champions as well: Estonia’s Mihkel Räim, Ireland’s Conor Dunne, Israeli Roy Goldstein, Latvian Krists Neilands are able to wear their national vests during the season. Not just Räim can be familiar to Hungarians, Czech Daniel Turek was 3rd in 2016 at Tour de Hongrie.
Israel Cycling Academy is having truly big and serious goals, for example to be among the competing teams at Tour de France in 2020, well, if we see their popularity, it can happen easily: they are having 650 thousands followers on Facebook. Only one World-Tour team, Team Sky, has more.
This year’s Tour de Hongrie will be held between 11-16 June 2019 and it got 2.1 UCI classification. The official route and cities are going to be launched on 13 February.