REMEMBERING JASON LOWNDES​

Jason was a great friend to all of us;

he was like this big puppy dog that was impossible not to love. 
He’d run around at a million miles an hour, 
suitcase full of Lindt chocolate bars,
ready to rip races and always ready for a great time with those he loved at any moment.

Jason lived every moment of his life to the absolute fullest, it’s just not fair he’s gone.

December 14, 1994 – December 22, 2017 R.I.P

Jason Lowndes was our rider, teammate, friend. 
He entered our lives just a year before it all ended in a tragic road accident

while riding his bike. But in spite of how brief was the encounter, 
Jason left us all with unforgettable memories and a deep sense of loss. 
Here are some of those memories. 

Israel Cycling Academy

Each image represents a memory. Click on the images to reveal the story

We invite you to share your memories and thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Team Manager
Ran Margaliot

Team Manager
Ran Margaliot

Teammate Guillaume Boivin
"He Bested Me"

Teammate Guillaume Boivin
"He Bested Me"

Teammate Luis Lemus
"You are Taking Care of Us״

Teammate Luis Lemus "You are Taking Care of Us״

Teammate Guy Sagiv
"Our Fastest Guy״

Teammate Guy Sagiv
"Our Fastest Guy״

Carolin Rodenbuecher
"ICA's Masseur״

Carolin Rodenbuecher
"ICA's Masseur״

Teammate Zak Dempster
"Up for an Adventure"

Teammate Zak Dempster
"Up for an Adventure"

ICA founder Ron Baron
"We were fortunate״

ICA founder Ron Baron
"We were fortunate״

Teammate Mihkel Raim
"He Shined״

Teammate Mihkel Raim
"He Shined״

Team Manager Ran Margaliot

 It’s been almost 48 hours since you have left us and it’s still impossible to digest. Reflecting through the memories, I remember the first time we met in person: October 2016 in Girona. It was two or three weeks after the World Championships in Qatar. There was a tough competition for the sprinter spot in the team. We had quite a few strong candidates, but I received warm recommendations about you from different people: Guillaume Boivin, who knew you from your racing days in Canada, said you were a true talent; Zak Dempster said the same thing and Tom Southam re-assured. Everyone kept saying the same thing. Crazy talent. Bit childish. Needs to be managed properly but can achieve great things. We scheduled a coffee at La Fabrica. I knew you were a tall guy but didn’t quite expect the giant I met in that small coffee shop. You ordered an omelet and a cake and said, “I just had breakfast, but I still feel like eating something.” I had already noticed you were not the anorexic Euro climber type… It was only our first meeting, but I already realized that you were different than any other rider we’d ever had in the team before: with an enormous joy, a childlike sense of humor and an endless desire for fun and playing. It was sometimes hard to tell how come you, of all people, chose professional cycling. We all know well how isolating and monotonous this profession can be at times. And you, being the most colorful and cheerful lad in the room, just looked so happy and eager to experience life at its full, in comparison with the rest of us cycling geeks. Fast forward 6 months later, I’m sitting with my wife and a couple of friends somewhere else in town. It’s almost midnight when I recognize that tall, lean giant walking towards us, holding a bottle of wine in his hand and smiling that huge trade-mark smile that only you would have. “I’m just coming back from an evening man date with a friend on the walls of the old town, ” you said, looking happy like a kid in a candy shop. And I was left speechless. I remember saying to my wife, “I think I’m supposed to be giving him some hard time now for being up so late,” but I just couldn’t. Being the Jason that you are, it just seemed that most of the time, the rules of normal people simply don’t apply to you. And how the hell am I supposed to be angry with you when you pull that “Jason smile” that no one can resist. This was of course, only the beginning. It was difficult for you to understand what the issue was with eating Nutella Crepes in Girona every evening, or why the Sports Directors were angry with you for taking selfies immediately after a freezing cold stage in the rain, instead of rushing directly to the showers like everyone else. I would call you for a serious conversation about your nutritional habits, as every single one of the staff members had something to say about the amount of sweets you consumed. In return, you would just look at me, full of joy and happiness and say, “Chocolate is really a very important part of my life.” Right there. You actually said that. And I was left speechless, once again, knowing that you are just a very different animal. A very special one. Looking back, I knew right from our very first meeting at that coffee shop that I’m lacking some essential tools in my tool box to cope with the wild character that you are Jason. I do remember putting quite a bit of stress on you over the past year. We are not all made the same. And in the aftermath, I should have understood better the kind of a free bird that you are. The decision not to renew your contract was one of the toughest ones that I have had. I knew that we had a pure diamond in our hands. You don’t find everyday sprinters who can produce 2,000 watts and are also craving that hustle of a race finish. But I also felt that you needed something other than what I could offer in order to reach that enormous potential of yours. And I knew that there was a very good chance that I was making a huge mistake by letting you go, that I might regret deeply one day. The news of the accident on Friday knocked me down big time. It’s only when you lose someone that you actually understand how much he meant to you… It’s hard for me to hold the tears so let’s just decide we will keep on this conversation at another time. I’m going to miss you a lot, big boy. Take good care and have another Nutella Crepe for me.”

Teammate Guy Sagiv: Our Fastest Guy

This picture was taken few minutes after one of the stages in Vuelta Alentejo in Portugal. Jason was our leader (like many other times) for what was supposed to be a big bunch sprint stage. He was our fastest guy in the team! I remember him being so upset about the day before that he missed the podium, so he was fully motivated to win this day. I was screaming on the radio, trying to motivate him even more! Just 1k to the finish line there was very steep downhill, and he was involved in a big crash. This picture was taken straight after he crossed the finish line when I came to him to see if he was ok. I felt quite badly with myself after he crashed, I took it like it was, more or less, my fault. We all really pushed him to win and then he crashed in the last kilometer. I will always remember him as a guy who knew how to live the moment, and I will take his memory with me to the rest of my life.

Teammate Luis Lemus: You are Taking Care of Us

I have sooooo many good stories and memories with Jason. It’s hard to choose one to share with you but I can tell you that it was a pleasure to meet him and ride with and for him. He was always the teammate ready to help you, and the first one to thank you for your help when we wanted him to sprint. Always appreciating the effort from everyone. But the thing that has most amazed me recently, is how easy it was for everyone to find on their phones a funny picture of Jason, and that’s why he was always true to himself, always enjoying life no matter what. It amazed me how people shared pictures of him enjoying a coffee, enjoying a beer, a cake, a chocolate, a laugh, a ride, always enjoying life. The world has lost a bit of its brightness with Jason’s departure, and I’m deeply sad about it. I’ll always miss him, and will always try to be more like him, to enjoy life at every single moment. Rest in peace my friend. I know that you will be taking care of us now.

Carolin Rodenbuecher. ICA's Masseur

“More than races, Jason loved chocolate. I remember in Portugal when Jason grabbed secretly heaps of chocolate bars from the truck when we didn’t watch. Later we laughed so much about it. It was charming. As his whole character. I will miss him dearly”. 

Teammate Zak Dempster: Up for an Adventure

Jason was just the best guy. He was fun to be around, positive, loyal and always up for an adventure. In his short time with us he engaged and affected so many people and we can all be so grateful to have been friends and teammates with someone so wholeheartedly good. It’s just not fair he’s gone, but Jason’s memory will always be with us and this is a place for us to share all the great memories we have of our great mate Jason. This photo was taken at the end of the first bonding camp we had together. Jason had just bought some clippers and was just “really liking cuttin’ hair, like I enjoy it you know” and he’d managed to give about everyone there, including some sponsors as you can see in the background, a pretty aggressive trim…

ICA founder Ron Baron: We were fortunate

We feel so fortunate to have been part of your life, Jason. Such a joyful vivid energetic and happy young person and a great cycling talent. You loved life and always spread good energy and spirit to your teammates. We love you and you will be in our hearts and thoughts forever.

Teammate Mihkel Raim: He Shined

My memory of Jason is after we came back from the Castilla Leon race by train. We arrived to Girona in the evening and discussed what we were going to eat for dinner: who would eat at home, who would go out, etc. Jason was discussing with us and the others what to do. Then we walked upstairs from train station, hearing train leaving and suddenly Jason said, “My suitcase…!” He left it on the train because his thoughts were already on dinner 🙂 He came back and laughed with us and we went to information desk and next day he got it back. This picture was the first I had taken of him when we met on the Mesasa. The first rays of sun were shining on him like he shined on all of us.

Teammate Guillaume Boivin: He Bested Me

I have known Jason for over 5 years. I met him while he was racing over in Canada. The first time I met him was during a bike race. He bested me in a sprint and at time I had no idea who he was. One thing he was without a doubt, he was one of the fastest sprinters I had ever seen. After that race, I got to know him more and more. The guy always had a smile on his face and looked like he was living every minute of his life to the fullest. We were never short of good stories and good laughs when he was around. He taught us to always see the brighter side of life. He is gone way too early and leaves a bunch of people behind who truly loved him. We will always be able to remember a good story with him when times are harder. It will, without a doubt, put a smile back on our faces. Take care my friend, and keep brightening everyone’s lives where ever you are. We won’t forget you down here.

Teammate Mihkel Raim: He Shined

My memory of Jason is after we came back from the Castilla Leon race by train. We arrived to Girona in the evening and discussed what we were going to eat for dinner: who would eat at home, who would go out, etc. Jason was discussing with us and the others what to do. Then we walked upstairs from train station, hearing train leaving and suddenly Jason said, “My suitcase…!” He left it on the train because his thoughts were already on dinner 🙂 He came back and laughed with us and we went to information desk and next day he got it back. This picture was the first I had taken of him when we met on the Mesasa. The first rays of sun were shining on him like he shined on all of us.

“With an enormous joy, a childlike sense of humor and an endless desire for fun and playing.”

Teammate Krists Neilands
"Great Like Jason״

Teammate Krists Neilands
"Great Like Jason״

Orange Seal Team Sponsor
John Vargus

Orange Seal Team Sponsor
John Vargus

Teammate Tyler Williams
"Made the Hardest of Times Enjoyable״

Teammate Tyler Williams
"Made the Hardest of Times Enjoyable״

Teammate Tyler Williams
"Made the Hardest of Times Enjoyable״

C

KJell Carlstrom
Sports Director

KJell Carlstrom
Sports Director

״Teammate Ben Perry״

״Teammate Ben Perry״

Teammate Krists Neilands: Great Like Jason

He was always with a smile on his face, it didn’t matter how he was feeling, he was smiling and friendly all the time. He loved candies and chocolate and I love them, too, so he was the mate with who I could talk about sugar, haha. I am heartbroken with what happened to this grateful guy. We will all miss him. I thank him for showing me that there are people like him in this world.

Orange Seal Team Sponsor John Vargus

Jason knew no strangers, everybody was a good friend. He had an infectious smile and you could not help but laugh when he was around. He was a giant on the bike and worked hard for his teammates and team. One night we were sitting around telling stories, drinking beer, and Stephen was messing with his hair saying he wished he had cut it before he left stateside. Out of the blue Jason says, “Later tonight I’ll come over to your place…we have to wait until the boss goes to sleep…and I’ll cut your hair.” There was never a hesitation on Stephen’s part. Later that night in a tiny bathroom, in a land far away, we drank wine and laughed while Stephen got a haircut. We will miss Jason dearly. Ride on our good friend!

Teammate Tyler Williams: Made the Hardest of Times Enjoyable

This photo depicts for me perfectly the kind of guy Jason was. This was taken the morning after Jason had finally accomplished his mission to get me to enjoy chocolate. He was blown away to find out I didn’t like it and he became set on finding a way to make me enjoy it. He could make even the toughest times enjoyable and even this day which had 4000m of climbing ahead of us and knowing we would both suffer he was smiling and enjoying the moment. He was the best I’ve ever seen in living in the moment and just loving the life he lived. I’ll envy that about him always. He will forever have a special place in my heart for the great friend he became to me in such a short period of time and the for the kind of person he was.

ICA's masseur Adolfo Crespo

Dear Jason,

What can I say in these hard moments? Well, there is something I want to say. We will always remember you for your smile and your great sense of humor. You never used to get angry. There is something else I will never forget, you always liked wearing your red and white lucky glasses. And you used to be the last one to get off the bus to start the race. I will always remember you in my heart.

KJell Carlstrom. Sports Director

My first memory of Jason is a short chat on the phone that we had before meeting him in Israel for the first time. We talked about what he wanted to achieve, what he was good at and what he believed he was lacking as a rider. Jason seemed to me like a person who knew what he wanted and what he needed. He pictured himself as a fast guy and fast he was like the results would show.

The first time we met in person, and actually, most of the times we met since then, Jason was smiling. Even the times that he was not in such a good shape and the results didn’t arrive, Jason still smiled. He had a lot of potential of getting even better on the bike, but sadly the time was not there for him to let that potential blossom. However, his smile and his eagerness to be happy are some things I will remember about Jason, a tall happy chap that was fast on the bike.

Teammate Ben Perry

It breaks my heart to write about him in the past tense. I knew Jason for over 3 years. When he first started racing, he came to Canada. We were rivals that year but we still got along great, and saw each other most weekends as competitors. We didn’t have similar styles and he was foreign, so our rivalry wasn’t ever that heated and trying to beat each other every week was fun. When I heard Ran was considering signing him, I messaged Ran to tell him about Jason’s huge talent, potential and rapid rise in the sport. He was a good friend to me all through the year. In the final summer of his life we spent weeks together traveling Portugal, riding ferries and driving though forests in the Baltics and talking about our love for long rides in the rain in the Basque Country. Through all my time with Jason, he was always respectful, polite, considerate and gentle. He always kept his composure and was a great man to be around. He was a guy who stood up for what he believed in no matter what, and I admired him endlessly for that trait. I still cannot understand that he is gone, it does not feel real. I’m happy I got to know him these past years, and that I was lucky enough to have him as a friend.