“When I was a rider, I had leg pains; now I have plenty of headaches.” 😃
Those were the words of our ex-rider, Ruben Plaza, before his first-ever race as a sports director, leading our Israel Cycling Academy Under-23 team to the GP San Vendemiano.
A few hours of hours behind the wheel of ICA team car later, Ruben had no doubts whatsoever that this opening sentence was right on.
He was heading to the local hospital with his young Israeli rider, Yuval Ben Moshe, to get X-rays to ensure that nothing was broken after a hard crash he was involved in. Ruben was relieved when the doctors determined that the 22-year-old rider was fine. “Look,” said Plaza summarizing his first experience. “I have been racing for 20 years, but this job seems to put more responsibility on your shoulders. You are taking care of those youngsters, leading them in the race and making so many decisions, not to speak about the tasks before and after the race; but I am really happy with it and looking forward to continuing.”
The 179 km race was pretty calm till the guys got into the first climbing circuit where everybody tried to get into the best position. “I avoided the first crash,” said Yuval, who has suffered from a series of them in the last year. “But then, 200 meters to the top, came a crash in front that I could not avoid.”
The team rode well, said Plaza. Jakub Boucek 🇨🇿, was ICA’s top man (14th).
Israeli U23 champion, Omer Lahav, was a bit rusty in his first race of the season and did not finish. The rest of the guys did well.
“We have great talents in ICA,” said Plaza. “And I am so grateful to help.”