The Israel Cycling Academy team have announced the Israeli Ministry of Tourism as primary sponsor for the remainder of the 2017 season. Debuting in the peloton in 2015 as a Continental team, Israel Cycling Academy stepped up to the Pro-Continental ranks for 2017. The announcement was made in Kuurne, Belgium with the team's cobbled classics campaign now complete.
The Ministry of Tourism has invested in a long-running television campaign to promote Israel during cycling races with CEO Amir Halevi explaining he sees cycling is the perfect avenue by which to promote the country.
"We see great value in the world of Pro Cycling as a platform to reach larger crowds all over the world," said Halevi. "The huge international reach of the sport and its ability to connect people to brands, stories and landscapes, serve as a great platform for us to empower our successful campaign: "Tel Aviv Jerusalem – Two cities, One Break".
Halevi added the partnership with the team is mutually beneficial and sees the riders as 'great ambassadors'.
"We believe that sports has a very unique ability of reaching people through emotion and entertainment. The decision to team up with Israel Cycling Academy has therefore been natural for us," said Halevi. "We share multiple values with the first Israeli Pro Cycling Team and we see their athletes and management as great ambassadors for our campaign."
For the team founder Ron Baron, the announcement is further justification the squad are moving in the right direction to achieve its dream of a Tour de France debut before 2019.
"Like Israel, the team is a melting pot of many cultures and nationalities", said Baron. "We are very ambitious and very passionate about our mission. While we keep growing with our young athletes towards the worlds highest levels, we also aim to use our team as a storytelling platform that would introduce the world to our beautiful Israel."
While the team is still searching for its first win of 2017, last year Israel Cycling Academy enjoyed 13 victories. This week the team will race the Spanish one-day races GP Miguel Indurain and Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja aiming to break its duck.