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Elite cyclists cooperate to promote sport's growth in Israel

Israel cycling received a boost in 2009 thanks to the performances of several established and up and coming elite cyclists, some of whom have banded together to support a project to continue to grow cycling in Israel. Noga Korem, Rotem Ishay, Ran Margaliot and Niv Liber are among those who put in noteworthy performances to make 2009 a breakthrough year for Israeli cyclists.

Korem made history in the 2009 mountain bike World Championships when she finished fifth in the junior women's race in Canberra, Australia. She was recently drafted into the Israeli Army and is presently finishing up her basic training.

Ishay won both the short track and the cross country races at the US Collegiate Mountain Bike championships in Truckee, California, and Margaliot and Libner became the first Israelis ever to finish the European Road Championships, held in Belgium.

The cyclists, led by Margaliot, have banded together to launch a cooperative effort going into 2010, when Israel will host the European Mountain Bike Continental Championships in Haifa. The project exists at www.IsraeliCyclist.com.

This cooperation is designed to increase and empower international exposure for Israelis and to encourage young Israeli cyclists, who are just getting into competitive cycling, to reach the heights of their potential.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.