Israel Cycling Academy Continental team claims huge win: Hollyman wins stage 5 in Portugal
Today was undoubtedly Israel Cycling Academy’s biggest victory since it became a Continental Under-23 team last year, splitting from the Israel Start-Up Nation WorldTour team. Briton Mason Hollyman took his first professional victory in the Volta a Portugal, coming across the finish line solo in stage 5.
Mason was the happiest person alive for what he called “My biggest win by far – and the first since I was a junior three years ago,” but was quick to thank his teammates:
“The stage was really tough, and it was a big fight for the break. All of the team did a great job helping me to stay at the front. It felt so good to cross the line in first. They worked so hard this tour and had such belief in me the last week, this was for them and everyone on the staff who go out of their way to make things perfect for us every day.”
The team, also consisting of Israelis Edo Goldstein, Saned Abu Fares, Oded Kogut, and Yuval Ben Moshe, rode sublimely and were constantly around Hollyman during the first five stages. After yesterday’s rest day in Portugal, Hollyman found the strength to make it into the breakaway of the day.
When a competitor attacked, Hollyman left the front group as well. He chased down his fellow escapee and on the ten-kilometer final climb, he left him behind. Further back, there was the group of chasers trying to close down the two-minute gap to Hollyman. The peloton was already out of contention at that point.
The 21-year-old Brit maintained his rhythm and soloed across the finish line, claiming his first professional victory in what is considered one of the most challenging stage races in Europe for young riders.
ISN’s British DS Cherie Pridham is directing the ICA team in Portugal.
Cherie: “What an amazing day, the boys stuck to the plan. We knew today would be a great opportunity for us, ICA. Once we had Mason in the break it was a case of managing his effort well, and we went long. Credit to the whole team. This was truly a team effort.”