Israel’s only professional cycling team, Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN), will lead a virtual online team ride on Friday. The ride, open to fans from all over the world, will help promote the “STAY AT HOME” message as part of the global fight against coronavirus.
Friday’s ride will take place via the Zwift online platform, enabling fans with ‘Smart’ trainer-devices to join the ride on their own bikes through their phones, TV, or iPad screens. They will follow the lead of ISN riders, including German legend Andre Greipel, Israeli Champion Guy Sagiv, and British former world record-holder Alex Dowsett.
Millions of cyclists around the world are confined to their homes due to the threat of coronavirus. Authorities in many countries fear that amateur recreational cyclists riding outdoors will place a further strain on already over-burdened medical systems. Professional cyclists are still permitted to ride outdoors in some countries including Italy, as various governments recognize cycling as their occupation. Nonetheless, many professionals are now using home trainers in order to keep in shape in readiness for the resumption of competitive racing. All professional cycling has been suspended, cancelled or postponed through March and April.
ISN decided to initiate this special team ride, in order to give fans a unique opportunity to cycle alongside the team riders and to showcase the importance of keeping in shape, while avoiding riding outdoors.
“A group ride in uncertain times like this, with the Covid-19 crisis, is a great opportunity for cyclists who love our team”, commented Israeli champion Guy Sagiv, who himself is currently in quarantine in Girona. “This group ride on Zwift gives everyone the chance to join us for a ride while remaining at home. It is important to stay home to help fight the virus, but at the same time ISN wants to give everyone the opportunity to keep enjoying riding bikes. I am excited to join the group ride on Friday.”
The ride will begin on Friday at 20:25 CET and 21:25 Israeli time. At least ten riders from the Israel Start-Up Nation’s World Tour team and the team’s development squad, the Israel Cycling Academy will participate in the unique ride via Zwift, in cooperation with the Het is Koers cycling blog, based in Holland.
The ride will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete. Although it will be a fun, non-competitive ride, fans who participate will be able to compete during the final few kilometers to ‘win’ the ride.
Additional ISN and ICA riders joining the ride from their homes from all over the world will include: Belgium’s Ben Hermans, Latvia’s Krists Neilands, Switzerland’s Matteo Badilatti, Canada’s James Piccoli, Australia’s Rory Sutherland, Israel’s Davidson Lahav, Canada’s Robin Plamondon, Czech Republic’s Daniel Turek and Australia’s Freddy Ovett.