An esteemed Italian mountain race reclaims its former glory, climbers will battle for victories, and Israel’s champion aims for a fifth win this season, alongside a notable Israeli presence in the team line-up.

These are IPT’s leading headlines of the Giro d’Abruzzo, a four-day race relaunching tomorrow (Tuesday) from the shores of the Adriatic Sea, promising the potential for intriguing storylines and hoping to continue the fantastic momentum of Israel – Premier Tech and its development squad from the start of the season with 16 wins in less than three months.

The latest of these was achieved by the amazing British rider of the IPT Academy, Joe Blackmore, just yesterday in France. This fact is also relevant here, as three of his Israeli teammates in the development team – Rotem Tene, Imry Fingezicht, and Aviv Bental – arrive in Abruzzo.

They will be a supporting force for the trio of veterans from IPT, especially for the two climbers, Matthew Riccitello and George Bennett, who will be our candidates for the top of the overall classification. Derek Gee, who is returning from injury, completes the line-up.

“Imry and Aviv have a very important role, and they will help us protect and position the senior team members during the race. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to learn, progress, and shine,” says Sports Director Dror Pekatch.

It won’t be an easy task: the race includes no less than 9000 meters of climbing and will be particularly demanding on the last two days (14 kilometers of ascent to the finish at Prati di Tivo on stage three). The world’s leading team at the moment, UAE Team Emirates, is sending a line-up featuring noted climbers Adam Yates and Pavel Sivakov.
“They are expected to be the dominant team in the race, but of course, we will try to challenge them and fight for the podium, and perhaps even more,” says Pekatch.

The task of trying to win the first stage of the race, which, although it includes several climbs, is expected to end in a mass or selective sprint, falls on the shoulders of the Israeli sprinter Itamar Einhorn.

Einhorn has already proven in Rwanda and Taiwan (two victories in each of the races) what he is capable of. Now, he is looking for his first victory on European soil. “It won’t be easy, but it’s entirely possible,” said Einhorn, who expressed special satisfaction with the increased Israeli presence in the race. “I’m happy that the young Israelis are getting an opportunity HERE to compete and gain experience in the races of the senior team.”

Itamar Einhorn wins Tour du Rwanda stage 7

Pekatch adds: “It’s a great pleasure to include a predominantly Israeli roster. They earned their spots rightfully, but it’s important to remember that in the end, they will be judged by their performance, not their passport.”

The professional team in the race will also be predominantly blue and white, as the young Israeli Sports Director Lahav Davidzon completes the trio of managers along with the Spaniard Ruben Plaza.

IPT at Giro d’Abruzzo

Riders: George Bennett (NZL), Aviv Bental (ISR), Itamar Einhorn (ISR), Imry Faingezicht (ISR), Derek Gee (CAN), Matthew Riccitello (USA), Rotem Tene (ISR)

Sports Directors: Dror Pekatch, Ruben Plaza, Lahav Davidzon