(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli cyclists Idit Shub and Gal Tsachor on Sunday rode to an unprecedented achievement in Israeli sports, taking home second place for their second time as a team in the prestigious and grueling Absa Cape Epic mountain bike competition in South Africa.
Despite Shub suffering from severe dehydration on the second day of the competition, the duo managed to close the gap on the leaders, traversing 402 miles in just eight days.
Shub, 35, and Tsachor, 43, finished the seventh and final stage of the race in Cape Town after 36:41:09 hours of cycling, coming ahead of some 1,200 mountain bikers from across the globe. The two began the race with hopes of winning, but on the second day, some 12 miles from the second-stage finish line, Shub was severely dehydrated and the two were forced to stop and recuperate for 20 crucial minutes.
“At a certain point I lost my sense of direction and we had to stop,” Shub recounted. “I fell. Gal wanted to evacuate me [for medical treatment], I felt disoriented and there were concerns for my life, but in the end we insisted on finishing the stage. After I recuperated a bit, I looked over my blood tests and realized how precarious my situation was.”
Shub and Tsachor finished strong, however, taking second place in the fifth stage and winning the final two stages.