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Cycling Academy train in Israel - Gallery

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Israeli champion Guy Sagiv leads a group along the Mediterranean coast.

Israeli champion Guy Sagiv leads a group along the Mediterranean coast.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Ben Perry and Hamish Schreurs ride along the Mediterranean coast in Western Galilee.

Ben Perry and Hamish Schreurs ride along the Mediterranean coast in Western Galilee.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Ben Perry and Aviv Yechezkel

Ben Perry and Aviv Yechezkel
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Roy Goldstein

Roy Goldstein
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Mexican champion Luis Lemus

Mexican champion Luis Lemus
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Dan Craven makes his way up one of the climbs.

Dan Craven makes his way up one of the climbs.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Guy Sagiv leads Dan Craven up a climb

Guy Sagiv leads Dan Craven up a climb
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Hamish Schreurs

Hamish Schreurs
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Development team rider Ori Leonzini on a climb.

Development team rider Ori Leonzini on a climb.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Czech rider Daniel Turek is the only rider who has been with the team since the beginning in 2015.

Czech rider Daniel Turek is the only rider who has been with the team since the beginning in 2015.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Krists Nielands came to the team from Axeon Hagens Berman

Krists Nielands came to the team from Axeon Hagens Berman
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Development team rider Guy Sessler on one of many lengthy climbs the team tackled in Western Galilee.

Development team rider Guy Sessler on one of many lengthy climbs the team tackled in Western Galilee.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Krists Nielands tries some ice cream samples during a break in the ride.

Krists Nielands tries some ice cream samples during a break in the ride.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Team patron Sylvan Adam joined a ride along the Mediterranean coast.

Team patron Sylvan Adam joined a ride along the Mediterranean coast.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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With a Israeli Navy Patrol boat in the Background, Namibian champion Dan Craven enjoys the sunshine along the Mediterranean coast.

With a Israeli Navy Patrol boat in the Background, Namibian champion Dan Craven enjoys the sunshine along the Mediterranean coast.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Riders end a day of training along the Mediterranean coast.

Riders end a day of training along the Mediterranean coast.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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The group climbs in the mountains in Western Galilee.

The group climbs in the mountains in Western Galilee.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Australian Jason Lowndes and Spaniard Jose Manuel Diaz practice some teamwork.

Australian Jason Lowndes and Spaniard Jose Manuel Diaz practice some teamwork.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Jason Lowndes works on his no-hands track stand.

Jason Lowndes works on his no-hands track stand.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Israeli champion Guy Sagiv and Mexican champion Luis Lemus.

Israeli champion Guy Sagiv and Mexican champion Luis Lemus.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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The group stops for coffee and locally made ice cream.

The group stops for coffee and locally made ice cream.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Tyler Williams is another former Axeon rider on the team

Tyler Williams is another former Axeon rider on the team
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Ben Perry and Jason Lowndes make their way up a climb.

Ben Perry and Jason Lowndes make their way up a climb.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Aviv Yechezkel is the 0216 Israeli time trial champion

Aviv Yechezkel is the 0216 Israeli time trial champion
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Luis Lemus chats at the team car.

Luis Lemus chats at the team car.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Team founder Ron Baron enjoys a break in the ride.

Team founder Ron Baron enjoys a break in the ride.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Krists Nielands frames Dennis Van Winden with his wheel.

Krists Nielands frames Dennis Van Winden with his wheel.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Jason Lowndes came to the team from Drapac.

Jason Lowndes came to the team from Drapac.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Team founder Ron Baron rounds a corner while climbing.

Team founder Ron Baron rounds a corner while climbing.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Daniel Turek and teammates on the roads of Western Galilee.

Daniel Turek and teammates on the roads of Western Galilee.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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team manager Ran Margaliot addresses the team before a ride.

team manager Ran Margaliot addresses the team before a ride.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Dan Craven gets a lift from the team car.

Dan Craven gets a lift from the team car.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Krists Nielands and Jason Lowndes share a laugh during the ride.

Krists Nielands and Jason Lowndes share a laugh during the ride.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Roy Goldstein leads a development rider up a climb.

Roy Goldstein leads a development rider up a climb.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Jason Lowndes expresses his enthusiasm for the terrain.

Jason Lowndes expresses his enthusiasm for the terrain.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Cycling Academy riders train in the mountains of Western Galilee.

Cycling Academy riders train in the mountains of Western Galilee.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Dennis Van Winden answers a few questions.

Dennis Van Winden answers a few questions.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Sport directors Kjell Carlstrom and Oscar Guerrero get serious.

Sport directors Kjell Carlstrom and Oscar Guerrero get serious.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Tyler Williams leads the group up a climb.

Tyler Williams leads the group up a climb.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Western Galilee featured no shortage of roads to climb on.

Western Galilee featured no shortage of roads to climb on.
(Image credit: Pat Malach)
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Director Oscar Guerrero chats with Mihkel Raim

Director Oscar Guerrero chats with Mihkel Raim
(Image credit: Pat Malach)

The Israel Cycling Academy have been preparing for their first season at the Pro Continental level with a 10-day training camp in Israel that has seen the riders move from the southern desert to the mountainous and coastal environs of Western Galilee. Along the way they've taken in cultural sites like Masada, the Dead Sea, the ancient city of Akka and the Christian holy site of the Church of Beatitudes along the Sea of Galilee. 

The Israel Cycling Academy was founded in December 2014 in Jerusalem as Israel's first professional cycling team, with a vision to bring young cyclists, especially Israelis, to the top levels of cycling. The team raced on the Continental level this year and applied successfully to the UCI to jump to the Pro Continental level next year.

The team previously announced new signings Zak Dempster, José Manuel Díaz, Jason Lowndes, Krists Nielands, Ben Perry, Hamish Schreurs, Dennis Van Winden and Tyler Williams. They'll join eight returning riders, including Yechezkel and Goldstein, to form the new squad.

Team manager Ran Margaliot said he wanted his international roster, which includes three Israeli riders and citizens of 11 other nations, to have fun at camp while also learning more about the country where the team is registered.

Following several days in the south, the team moved to the agricultural areas of northern Israel, where a philanthropic group called the Treasures of Western Galilee hosted the riders and staff for three days. The Israeli camp is the second time a professional team has trained in Israel, following a visit by Saxo Bank and Alberto Contador in 2011. The Treasures of Galilee group hosted the Cycling Academy this year with the goal of convincing other teams and groups that Israel is perfect place for winter training and riding.

The Cycling Academy training camp will conclude Tuesday evening with the official 2017 team presentation in the old city of Jerusalem. The team will come together again in January for a second camp in Girona, Spain, where the all of the riders are obligated contractually to live during the season.

Israel Cycling Academy 2017 roster: Guillaume Boivin (Can), Dan Craven (Nam), Zak Dempster (Aus), Roy Goldstein (Isr), Luis Lemus (Mex), Jason Lowndes (Aus), Jose Manuel Diaz (Esp), Krists Neilands (Ltv), Ben Perry (Can), Mikhel Raim (Est), Guy Sagiv (Isr), Hamish Schreurs (NZl), Dan Turek (Cze), Dennis Van Winden (Ned), Tyler Williams (USA), and Aviv Yechezkel (Isr).