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Pekatch wins Israeli season opener

Dror Pekatch won his first race of the 2010 season ahead of Belgian rider Gody Jacobs and Idan Shapira. The Subaru - Gary Fisher rider took the victory at the Israel Cycling Federation's first mountain bike race of the year in Mishmar Ha'emek.

Stormy weather made for a muddy, wet nine laps of the three-kilometre course. Gody Jacobs of the Granville Team was in Israel for two weeks of training. Jacobs is a former Belgian National Team member, and he and Pekatch, Idan Shapira and Oded Danon assumed the early race lead.

In the third lap, Pekatch and Jacobs cooperated to open a gap while working together. In the last lap, Pekatch was first into the downhill section, where he opened a six-second gap that he held until the finish.

"I am extremely satisfied to win the first race of the 2010 season. It's a good start," said Pekatch, who is starting his fifth year with the Subaru-Gary Fisher Team. "I didn't have a good day, but I tried to get into the rhythm, I'm glad it worked well."

"Having Gody Jacobs with me helped a lot as we know each other for many years and are good friends. Each of us knows his strengths on the course, and we adapted to the muddy, European-like course. It is the first race of the season, and there is a lot of work to be done, I'm still not where I want to be. The goal was to test myself and I'm glad it ended with a win."

"It's always great fun to be back in Israel, although it's not the weather I expected," said Jacobs, "but I was informed that it will change for the better in the next few days. Dror Pekatch rode well, and I was a bit tired from the flight, which landed the night before the race. I had the advantage in the climbs, but Dror was better on the downhill sections and he took the race at the technical sections at the end."

Next week, they will race in Be'ery.

[Translation by Ori Zur]

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