– The barrier-breaking Israeli has called it quits
– Guy Niv, the first Israeli to race in the Tour de France, retires
– Niv: “It’s the toughest decision I have ever made, but the flame inside has gone out.”
Tel Aviv – September 19, 2022
Guy Niv (28), the professional cyclist who made history as the first Israeli to race in the Tour de France has decided to retire from the sport.
Niv informed the team of his surprising choice two weeks ago and, although he was asked to reconsider, he has stuck to his decision to end his career, admitting “it was the toughest decision I have ever made, but the flame inside that has burned since I started racing has gone out.”
Guy Niv: “I know that it will seem like a complete surprise to many, but the few people who are closest to me knew that this has been boiling inside for a long time. There are many reasons behind it, but the main one is that I came to realize that I no longer have the drive and motivation that are essential to reaching the heights I am capable of as a pro cyclist.”
He continued, “I will admit that I always believe I would call it quits only when I reached my full potential. I am still far from that point. Actually, I recently finished my second TDF with the best performance of all my previous five Grand Tours, proving that I am still progressing, but I believe still that it’s time for me to leave it all behind.
“Something turned off inside me during the 2022 season. I did not enjoy it as I used to. I always knew why I decided to take on the toughest sport in the world, this northern star that guided me through the toughest moments and made me get on my bike and push myself to the limit. But realizing that I have lost it left me with only one option: take on a new journey away from cycling.”
Niv’s decision was received “with pain and sorrow” by the team’s founder and co-owner Ron Baron.
Baron: “Guy is the rider who realized the goal and dream we set on achieving when we started this project back in 2014 – to have an Israeli rider race in the greatest race of all and to inspire the young generation of cyclists in Israel. Guy is a role model to many in Israel and abroad, both as an athlete and a human being with values and a true love of Israel. We truly regret that he is leaving but respect his decision. We are excited to see the young Israeli talent that is coming up and hope to see the best of them race with IPT and follow in Guy’s footsteps.”
Team principal owner Sylvan Adams:
“Guy called me to inform me of his decision to retire from pro cycling, a decision that I understand and accept. Our sport is extremely demanding and requires a great deal of sacrifice, including long absences from home. All athletes eventually retire, and Guy decided that this is his time. Guy has raced more Grand Tours than any other Israeli. He was also the first to race in the Tour de France, an accomplishment that he will forever own. I thank Guy for everything he did for our team and wish him luck on the next phase of his life.”
Niv is putting an end to a relatively short but eventful career, becoming a symbol of the progress made in the sport of cycling in Israel. He started as a mountain biker and was part of that national team before deciding to move to road cycling with the Israel Cycling Academy development team at the age of 22.
Less than a year later he started the historic Giro d’Italia in Jerusalem, but illness forced him to abandon during the fifth stage. Niv vowed to stay focused and not let this derail his progress, and he made good on his promise. He finished the Giro in 2019 and went on to race and successfully complete five Grand Tours, more than any Israeli rider, making a name for himself as a solid rider and domestique with the WorldTour team.
IPT manager Kjell Carlstrom: “For me, Guy’s dedication to the team is what stands out the most. He definitely inspired young Israelis to cycle with the goal to become professionals. I’m sure that this will continue, and Guy will be of much help guiding any aspiring cyclist with advice about how to conduct themselves professionally.”
Guy Niv thanks the Israel – Premier Tech team for “an unforgettable journey.”
Niv: “It was an exciting journey. It took me to the most amazing places, meeting and working with wonder teammates and staff. Above all, I want to thank the team and especially Sylvan and Ron who enabled me to dream big and reach many heights together.”