A season-ending international cycling race will be held in Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates next year, in a major sports event celebrating peace and the Abraham Accords, organizers said Tuesday.
The event, which is being dubbed “the peace race” and is the initiative of Canadian-Israeli philanthropist and entrepreneur Sylvan Adams, is slated to take place in October 2024 and will be divided into three stages between the countries beginning in Israel.
The planned sports competition is the latest sign of growing regional ties in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords that saw Israel make peace with four Arab countries, led by the UAE and Bahrain.
“This will show how the sport of cycling, and sports in general, can be a force for good in bringing peoples and nations together, creating bridges, and having a more peaceful world through sport,” Adams told JNS from the Tour de France competition currently underway.
He noted that the countries had come to an agreement on the three-staged event, and it has won the approval of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of cycling.
Adams said that a season-ending UCI Gala for the entire sport will be held on a rotating basis between the three countries, adding that he expects the innovative format of the international competition will attract global attention.
Seeking to boost Israel’s image in the world, Adams is known for having brought Lionel Messi and the Argentine national soccer team for an exhibition game, Madonna to the Eurovision Song Contest finals, and the French Super Cup, all in Tel Aviv. He was also responsible for organizing Israel’s hosting of the first three stages of the largest sporting event to ever touch down on Israel’s shores, the 2018 Giro d’Italia Grand Tour road cycling race.