Israel Cycling Academy Announcement:
Australian Zak Dempster Ends his 15 years career with a bang:
recorded his biggest victory in the final month of racing.
Zak will stay with ICA in a managerial role.
Zak: “I’m so grateful I was able to do it, but I’m happy it’s over. I won’t miss the suffering”.
Tel – Aviv. October 26, 2019
Israel’s Cycling Academy’s Australian Veteran Rider Zak Dempster has retired from the sport after a 15 years career and will continue with the Israeli team in a managerial role.
“To be honest, I am happy it’s over and I certainly will not miss the suffering, “said the 32 years old from Castlemaine in his farewell words. “Cycling is such a hard sport, there’s no way to be a professional without pushing yourself to the absolute limit. I’m so glad and grateful I got the chance to do it for so many years but I’m so happy it’s over now and I can do it for fun on Saturday mornings when I feel like it.”
Zak joined ICA 3 years ago to serve the role of the veteran road captain that turned out to be as good as advertised.
“Time and again he has proven to be the rock our younger riders can rely upon to lead and guide them both in the races and elsewhere”, said ICA pro manager Kjell Calstrom. “And then, of course, he led by example by producing results”.
Zak especially excelled in the one-day classics and chose the most perfect of timing this Autumn, he finally won recently in Veenendal – his greatest victory after 8 years. “I had so many nice moments in my career but winning that race was like nothing else. I wasn’t a winner and that’s okay, but that’s what I was working for all these years so to finally do it was something else“, he said.
Zak’s unique skills as a leader and mentor as well as his desire to take the next step (He’s just completed his level 3 UCI coach course, soon to be followed by the DS qualification), has led ICA to offer Zak the opportunity to stay with the team in a special managerial role that will will be soon announced.
Zak: ”I am so happy to be staying in the ICA structure, I’ve felt more at home here than anywhere my whole career so I can’t think of a better place to take the next step in my career”.
Zak’s Career has spread over 15 years since his first steps as a young protege in the Australian junior system. His first serious team was the Drapac -Porsche development program in 2005. As a proven and reliable rider, he stepped up to professional teams Netapp-Endura, Bora and then finally ICA.
“The whole experience of racing my bike all these years has been an absolute privilege. It’s hard to sum it up in words but the main thing I wanted to express was how grateful I am for all that I gained.”
“My favorite part of being a rider was definitely sharing all those moments; good, great, bad and terrible with those great people that were there with me through everything. My family is there from the start, my friends I’ve met along the way which became my family. Along with all the coaches, soigneurs, mechanics and anyone else that was there for me through thick and thin.”
“But First and foremost, Cristina, the love of my life and of course Ruby (it would’ve been a geographical challenge to meet Cristina de La Canya whilst living in Castlemaine, then adopt the nicest greyhound there is from Jaén, that’s for sure).”