By Yaron Michali
Just two weeks before his country's national championship, Israel's Dror Pekatch (Subaru / Gary Fisher) showed he is back in form with a win at the Bet Schemesh 70km marathon race at home in Kdoshim Forest last Friday.
Pekatch finished in 2:23:48 with Israeli National Team member Eyal Rehat in second at 2:23:48 and three-time Israeli champion Dor Dviri in third at 2:25:00.
"The race was tactical and fast on a non-selective course," said Pekatch. "I tried to separate my two closest rivals, as they are on the same team, in order to avoid any cooperation against me," said Pekatch. "I am glad it worked, but for the national championship, this approach will not work."
In two weeks, the Israeli National Championship will close the 2008 season. Defending champion Rotem Yishay and Oded Danon are among the favorites.
"Rotem is coming after a successful season, and there are many other strong riders, but I am eager to race, we'll see what happens," said Pekatch, who then offered an explanation for his own recent results and four other top-two placings recently following a training camp in the Italian Alps.
"The results are the outcome of hard work with my new coach," said Pekatch, who recently began working with French coach Benoit Nave. "It is a privilege to work with Benoit Nave, but a lot of work has to be done, I am still not close to my best form and I have a lot to improve."
Pekatch is recovering from a thigh surgery to remove a benign tumor. This summer, he also suffered a broken rib.