Israel buys into Tour de France

Q. Why does Israel want a team in the Tour de France?
A. Because Israelis want recognition and success – Roy Logos, Tel Aviv.

By 2014 France had the largest number of Jewish people ‘making aliyah’ in the world. This exceeded the number of people going from the United States to Israel which previously had the largest number emigrating. Aliyah means ‘going up‘ (to Jerusalem).

The Palmach, Immigration to Israel (or ‘making aliyah’) after World War II.

Israel buys world’s best cyclist, Chris Froome
It was during the 2018 Giro D’Italia which had started out in Jerusalem that Chris Froome did the impossible. Or did he? He had crashed in Israel while training for the individual time trial and fell behind the rest of the field in the subsequent 17 days of Italy’s premier cycle race. It was the first time stages of the Giro had been held outside Europe since the race’s beginning in the early 1900s. It was in Jerusalem that Froome began talking with Sylvan Adams, the billionaire owner of Israeli Cycling Academy (now Israel Startup Nation). With Netanyahu’s blessing, Adams organised RCS Sport, the owners of the Giro, to stage the first three days of the event in Palestine. The Israeli Prime Minister later invited Pope Francis to come to the race in Jerusalem.

Froome’s Stage 19 of the 2018 Giro D’Italia
It was the 19th stage of that race that Froome did the impossible and attacked the leaders of the race 80 kms out from the finish. He rode solo over two mountains and sprinted to the finish winning the race by about four minutes taking the pink maglia rosa and became the race leader.

Froome was suspected of doping to attain this impressive result. He tested positive for excessively high amounts of the asthma drug salbutamol during the Vuelta a España in September 2017, on his way to victory in that Grand Tour.

Israel buys Froome
Both Froome and his mother were born in Kenya in Africa and he grew up in Nairobi and Johannesburg. So his family is no stranger to British colonialism in East Africa and the brutal years of apartheid in South Africa. Just as they had done in the 2018 Giro D’Italia, the Israeli Cycling Academy bought their way into the Tour de France in 2021 by signing up Chris Froome as their leading cyclist. The team, funded by Israeli-Canadian real estate billionaire Sylvan Adams, closed the deal after two years of discussion with Froome.

Israel Start-Up Nation (as the academy is now known) will become the first Israeli team to compete in the Tour de France. Froome (now 35 years old) has been called the best rider of his generation winning this world premier cycle event in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Will he win in 2020-2023 thus matching Lance Armstrong’s seven wins? Of course US hard man Armstrong was helped by cheating using drugs like EPO to achieve that remarkable feat.

The French hate Froome
Froome is known in the sport as a hard man too, in the past he has been booed while on the podium, spat upon, had urine thrown over him and punched by fans of the sport.

He is still on contract to Team Ineos (formerly Sky owned by Rupert Murdoch) which Froome joined in 2009.

Israel has a long history of sportwashing its brutal occupation and annexation of Palestine. This strategy is also used in the arts and entertainment industries. Israel bought Eurovision Song contest in 2019 despite Palestinian BDS efforts to prevent it.

SBS supports Israel
Australia’s special broadcasting service (SBS) was founded to support multiculturalism. In BDS Australian called for SBS to boycott Eurovision 2018. SBS refused broadcasting and promoting the event held in Tel Aviv.

Waving the flag of modern day apartheid, the Star of David
SBS is the biggest supporter of the Tour de France in Australia. Calls should be made for SBS to withdraw from covering the Tour de France in 2021. Is it imaginable that Froome will ride down the ChampsÉlysées in Paris lined with the Star of David and to be crowned the winner under the Arc de Triomphe wearing the yellow jersey.

This would confirm yet again that Israeli occupation of Palestine is not a middle eastern problem, it is a European problem.

Europe, the home of antisemitism, burdened by guilt of the holocaust, created the framework of another genocide. This time of the Palestinian people.

Ian Curr
10 July 2020

2 thoughts on “Israel buys into Tour de France

  1. How does Israel participate in the Tour de France? says:

    It’s really simple — buy a team of riders that is eligible to participate in the race. So in 2019, the team Israel Cycling Academy bought Katusha–Alpecin originally a Swiss team which was taken over by the Russian Global Cycling Project. Along with Katusha came the crucial UCI World Tour license that meant it could compete in the Tour de France.

    Katusha is a UCI Pro Tour team, which receive automatic invitations, and has some good riders like Tony Martin and Alexander Kristoff. Another way into the Tour is to be a pro continental division team that can receive a wildcard invite (typically these are French teams but with the right money can include others).

    Of course, the hard part is to have good enough cyclists. Israel needs 9 riders on the team good enough to ride on the Tour which is highly competitive. Israel has never produced a rider good enough to complete the Tour de France. One rider has managed to complete the Giro d’Italia. Hence they bought Chris Froome and are thinking of buying the Australian Richie Porte as his lead out man. Richie served as a super-domestique for three Team Sky Tour de France victories: Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013 and 2015.

    Israel needs to sort out its objectives for the team for the Tour (winning stages, going for the overall, supporting a star sprinter, etc.),. So they need to make sure that they buy riders with the cycling skillset that is needed for the team for that year.

  2. Good for Israel! If there is a will there is a way.
    Go team Israel go.

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