Israeli cycling team rider wins stage of Tour de France

i24NEWS

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Israel Premier Tech team's rider Simon Clarke (C) celebrates with Israel Premier Tech team's rider Chris Froome (L) and teammates after winning the 5th stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, northern France, on July 6, 2022.
Tim De Waele / AFPIsrael Premier Tech team's rider Simon Clarke (C) celebrates with Israel Premier Tech team's rider Chris Froome (L) and teammates after winning the 5th stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, northern France, on July 6, 2022.

'Today is the reality check that everything can happen if you take the opportunity,' says Clarke

A rider from the Israeli team won a stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, a first for the Jewish state.

Australian Simon Clarke, representing Israel Premier Tech, won stage five of the tour after a 97.5-mile run from Lille to Arenberg, featuring nearly 12.5 miles of cobbled mining roads. 

After his victory, Clarke thanked the Israeli team for taking him and allowing him to compete in the race. 

“I had no team, and Israel Premier Tech rang me up. I was given that chance,” Clarke said in an interview. “Today is the reality check that everything can happen if you take the opportunity.”

“I thought today was maybe the day… But I still can’t believe it,” he said. “I passed Taco (van der Hoorn) less than 50 meters to go. I gave my bike the biggest throw I could.”

Israel's Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov congratulated Clarke and the team. 

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“The exposure you bring is a great gift to expanding Israeli tourism.”

Originally named Team Israel Start-Up Nation, the team was established in 2014 and joined the World Tour in 2019. The team competed in the 2020 Tour de France, and partnered with the Canadian company Premier Tech for the 2022 season, becoming Israel Premier Tech. 

There is a roster of eight riders, including Guy Niv, an Israeli. Another Israeli rider, Omer Goldstein, was also supposed to compete but was forced to give up his place after exposure to Covid. He was replaced with Canadian Guillaume Boivin. 

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