Israeli team scores podiums in successive Tour de France stages

IPT's Pascal Ackerman finished the 10th stage in third place, after fellow team member Derek Gee took third in stage 9.

Israel-Premier Tech rider Pascal Ackermann. Photo by Noa Arnon.
Israel-Premier Tech rider Pascal Ackermann. Photo by Noa Arnon.

Israel-Premier Tech rider Pascal Ackermann finished in third place in the 10th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday, a 187.3 kilometer ride from Orleans to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

“The guys in the team did a really good job today, we were all together and Jakob [Fuglsang] kept us 42 kilometers up front and then pushed [Krists] Neilands, I think we did everything right,” said Ackermann. 

“I could almost grab the win off Jasper Philipsen but when he accelerated he was just too strong. Today was more positioning and waiting. I look forward to the hardest stages in the next few days,” he added. 

Alpecin–Deceuninck’s Philipsen is regarded as the world’s best sprinter.

Tuesday marked the third time IPT has come close to winning a stage in this year’s Tour, Derek Gee placing third in Stage 9 and Ackermann finishing fourth in Stage 8.

Gee is currently in 9th place in the General Classification, four minutes and two seconds behind leader Tadej Pogacar, of UAE Team Emirates, who won the Tour in 2020 and 2021.

The 111th edition of the Tour de France is the IPT’s fifth time competing in the event. Twenty-two teams are competing in the 2,174-mile, 21-stage race, which started in Florence on June 29 and ends in Nice on July 21 (for the first time, it will not end in Paris, due to preparations for the upcoming Summer Olympics in the French capital).

IPT features riders Ackermann (Germany), Fuglsang (Denmark), Gee (Canada), Neilands (Latvia), Guillaume Boivin (Canada), Hugo Houle (Canada), Jake Stewart (Britain) and Stevie Williams (Britain). 

“Our team is racing well, and we are in the hunt in every stage. I am confident that we will win here,” Sylvan Adams, co-owner of IPT, told JNS on Tuesday. “The way we’re racing is attracting very positive attention from hundreds of thousands, if not millions of fans of the sport,” he said. 

“As we proudly race with the name ‘Israel’ emblazoned on our jerseys, we are creating a positive connection and drawing fans around the world to our team and home country,” Adams continued. “I’m very proud of what we are doing for Israel and the Jewish people. Am Yisrael Chai.”

This year, Adams brought two survivors of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre with him on a private jet to Italy to meet up with the team and witness the “Grand Depart” of the tour.  Avida Bachar and Sharon Shevo, both from Kibbutz Be’eri, attended the race and shared testimony with members of the Jewish community and others at the Balagan Café cultural festival in the garden of the Tempio Maggiore Israelites di Firenze (“the Great Synagogue of Florence”).

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