Israel Cycling Academy paid respect to Gino Bartali two days before the Giro. The team attended a ceremony for the Italian legend after training.
Tel Aviv. May 2, 2018.
In a moving ceremony at Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center this afternoon, Israel Cycling Academy and distinguished guests paid tribute to the memory of Gino Bartali just two days before the Giro d’Italia begins.
Immediately upon finishing the day’s training, the eight riders from Israel Cycling Academy went to the ceremony in which Bartali was given honorary citizenship of the state of Israel.
The riders made the decision unanimously to participate in the event, recognizing the importance of the late Italian cyclist’s actions. They were the only team present.
General Manager Ran Margaliot said, “We adopted the story of Bartali from the day we founded the team and see it as our obligation to keep his memory alive. The Giro coming to Israel is a tribute to his deeds for the Jews that he never met. For us, coming to the ceremony to give him honorary citizenship was a must, a way to pay respect and be ambassadors and a bridge between our people.”
Kristian Sbaragli said, “He was a great Italian and I have always admired him. Being an Italian on an Israeli team makes this very special and emotional for me.”
Guy Sagiv, who along with his teammate Guy Niv will be the first Israelis to ever ride a Grand Tour, said, “I have twice followed in the footsteps of Bartali riding to Assisi. Every time I do it, I feel I am doing my small share to keep alive the memory of a great man. For me, visiting Yad Vashem today, just two days before the start of the Giro, was deeply symbolic.”