The third HOT Epic Israel mountain bike(MTB) race, honouring the memory of legendary Mossad fighter Giora Tsachor, will take off this Thursday, 8 October, and pass through the grounds of Ramat Hanadiv. This public is invited to come watch the race and cheer the riders in Israel's cycling equivalent of the Tour de France.
Dozens of famous bikers will be among the more than one thousand participants in the three-day race, which is divided into three stages totaling some 300 km. Registration began in February and was closed within a few hours due to the tremendous response. Top-ranking bikers from around the world are expected to be racing alongside Israeli amateurs and pros.
For the Israelis -- especially Rotem Ishay and Shlomi Chaimi -- the race will be an opportunity to gain the critical points they need in order to win the privilege of representing Israel in the off-road cycling event at the coming Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Almost the entire HOT Epic Israel route is new, but the spirit remains unchanged. Riders will whiz through the forests of Ramot Menashe, along the coast and ridge of the Carmel and the sands of the Mediterranean; they'll ascend the heights of Ramat Zikhron Ya'akov and Ramat Hanadiv, and more. Unlike the previous races, the first day will be the longest and toughest, covering 117 kilometers. And there will be no comfort zone here: from the moment they leave the starting line, riders will be challenged by the terrain and distance.
HOT Epic Israel commemorates Giora Tsachor, a senior commander in the Mossad, who died on his bike in a road accident during one of his morning rides. Professionalism, a love of Israel and nature, and the ability to meet extraordinary challenges were the hallmarks of his life. His son Gal Tsachor, who initiated and directs the HOT Epic Israel, rode in similar competitions abroad alongside his father, and the two always planned to bring such an event to Israel.
Following the success of the two previous races, HOT Epic Israel was registered as an international competition with UCI (Union Cycling International) and took its place among prestigious MTB stage races such as the Trans-Alps in Germany and Italy and the Cape Epic in South Africa. Israel's Ministry of Sport and Culture named HOT Epic Israel as one of the country's 14 biggest happenings of 2015, and, in light of the enthusiastic reactions to last year's competition, the Ministry of Tourism and embassies around the world have adopted this year's race as a way to attract tourists on two wheels to Israel.
Based in the area of Kibbutz Dalia (in the Meggido regional council), the competitors will face dramatic conditions daily in the field while spending their nights in the comfortable, professionally-run 'Racers' Village' erected specifically for the three-day event. The facility will cater to all the bikers' needs, including sleeping accommodations ranging from the basic to the luxurious, plus on-site dining room, food stands and cafes; electronic charging stations; a clinic, masseurs, and ice baths; presentation space; and other technical and physical support.
According to organizer Gal Tsachor, this year's HOT Epic Race will rise a notch or two above last year's. Besides being Israel's largest international sport event and a commemoration that brings sports tourism to the country, he says, 'It will be a major landmark for professional mountain bikers en route to the 2016 Olympics'.
For further details, contact: Udi Avni, tel. 054 472 4256, or Matan Berkovitz,
tel. 054 913 6008.