A historic milestone was reached tonight when Oded Kogut, the 22-year-old sprinter from Haifa, became the first-ever Israeli cyclist to be crowned winner in a stage race.

And he won with style after achieving individual victories in the first three stages of the race. Together with his Israeli team, he fought a defensive battle until the very end of the fourth and final stage of the Polish race, where he managed to hold onto the yellow jersey by mere seconds.

‏As expected, Oded Kogut was thrilled with his historic achievement, saying, “I’ll start from the end: there’s nobody prouder or happier than me about this win. But this historic milestone isn’t just mine – it belongs to all my teammates because without them I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“What happened today was just proof of this. We arrived at the last stage with my three sprint victories and, in doing so, the whole peloton turned on us. The rest of the teams went against us with all their might today with one goal: to take the yellow jersey from us.

“The attacks at the beginning of the stage were relentless. Everyone tried to get away from us, and in the end, 20 riders succeeded. It was the most dangerous breakaway, but at least we managed to get two of our riders into it. We had to chase them all day, completely on our own. No team helped, of course. We were chasing full gas and even when we caught them before the finish, everyone attacked us over and over. It was so hard – there were moments when I thought we would lose the entire race.

“When I saw the finish line, I didn’t have the energy to sprint. I just gave everything I had left to keep the yellow jersey. It worked – I won the entire race with a gap of just nine seconds.

“I am proud to become the first Israeli to win a stage race, but I am also convinced that this is just another step in the journey of Israeli cycling. My friends have completed major tours like the Tour de France. Now that we have won our first yellow jersey in a race, bigger goals lie ahead!”

Sylvan Adams, owner of Israel – Premier Tech, commented on Kogut’s win in Poland saying, “Oded has achieved yet another first by an Israeli rider: winning a professional stage race. Having recognized his progress and potential, we had already announced that we are promoting Oded to the big team next year. This is validation of our efforts to develop the sport in Israel, and to bring Israeli talents to the biggest races in the sport. Israelis are winners, as Oded has again proven. All we need is a good structure and opportunities. I’m proud that our Israel – Premier Tech team’s work and investment in Israeli cycling is paying dividends. Congratulations Oded, your future looks bright, and you made the nation proud.”