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Dan Martin leads virtual ride to deliver masks to medical personnel

Dan Martin trains at home
Dan Martin trains at home (Image credit: Israel Start-Up Nation)

Israel Start-Up Nation's Dan Martin will lead a virtual ride Sunday with the ultimate goal of delivering N95 masks to medical teams fighting the coronavirus Covid-19.

The “Team ISN Medical Aid Ride” will take place Sunday, March 29, at 3 p.m. CET, along with former UCI Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett, Israeli Guy Niv, German sprinter Andre Greipel and other riders from the Israeli WorldTour team.

Team co-owner Kevin Ham has pledged to ship and donate the protective gear to hospitals in need in the name of people who participate in the ride. Ham, an entrepreneur who owns Reinvent.com and Canadian shipping company Chit Chats, has already acquired the first shipment of masks in China and is ready  to begin begin shipping them "in the name of every person that will join the team in those rides".

“We started the first ride to send a 'stay-at-home' message to all, but now we want to move further and highlight the need to help the medical 'troops' on the Corona war front line," Ham said. "I pledge that for everyone that will take part in those rides – we will deliver masks to hospitals."

Israel Start-Up nation hosted a virtual ride with the team riders on March 20 to promote a social distancing message, with nearly 1,000 fans taking part through the Zwift virtual platform. The team is hoping for an even bigger turnout on Sunday.

“The situation we find ourselves in is truly unprecedented, but it has also lead to shows of incredible human spirit," Martin said. “By staying at home and training indoors we are making our small contribution to this fight, and with this incredible gesture by Kevin, we can make it even more meaningful. 

"I hope to see as many of you join us on Sunday so that this donation can make a huge difference to the frontline staff risking their lives to save others,” Martin said.

The effort takes on extra meaning for Martin, who revealed he has relatives who are working against the virus.

“My two sisters in law are working frontline to beat this virus in the UK, and they appreciate every gesture of support," he said. "I want to say thank you to Kevin for giving us this opportunity to play a small part in this fight.”