Cycling Academy - Gino Bartali Ride and Race
On March 20 2016, Israel’s only professional cycling team payed homage to two-time Tour de France champion Gino Bartali recently by tracing the route that he secretly traveled to help Jews escape Nazi rule in Italy. Guy Sagiv, the current Israeli road champion and other members of the team will take part in the ride.
Passing away in 2000, Bartali, rode as a courier to help the resistance against the Nazis. An estimation of helping over some 800 Jews, delivering forged documents which hidden in his handlebars and seat, as well as hiding a family in his Florence apartment, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Bartali never spoke about his actions during World War II and this was only discovered by his son, Andrea, after his death. Bartali used to say “You do good deeds; you don’t talk about them.”
Cycling Academy Team will ride from Bartali’s home in Florence to the hill town of Assisi in the central region of Umbria. Taking nearly the whole day to ride, the distance between the two locations is approximately 186 kilometers (115.6 miles). Assisi was the site of an underground network created to protect some 300 Jews from Nazi persecution, with the Catholic clergy hiding them in their churches, monasteries and convents.
“As an Israeli team, we have a special connection to Gino’s story,” Ran Margaliot, the manager of the Cycling Academy team. “We wanted to increase the knowledge in our riders and the general public of what he did—it’s a beautiful symbol of how sports can be used to do good.”
Ran adds: “It’s important for us that our riders, and other young people who will join, have an opportunity to take the same roads that Gino traveled and understand the huge risks he took to do what he did and why he did it: not because he had anything to gain, but because it was the right thing to do.”
A Devout Catholic, Bartali, was an integral part of the Assisi Underground and also the Jewish protection network set up by Elia Dalla Costa, the archbishop of Florence.
Bartali’s fame as an international champion allowed him to travel long distances to carry out his secret missions.
Recognized in 2013 by Israel, Bartali received the accolade a Righteous Among the Nations which is an award is given to gentiles who endangered their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust and is awarded by Yad Vashem.
Bartali won the Tour de France twice, in 1938 and 1948, and the Giro d’Italia multi-stage race three times in 1936, 1937 and 1946.
More information on Cycling Acacemy Team
Cycling Academy will take part in the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
Big tests can be taken in 2 vastly different ways: One can break under the pressure or look at it as a chance to show what he is really made off. Either way, its revealing.
So here we are, facing our first big test of the season. The 5 stages in 4 days of the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali. A tour that has it all: Kermesse, Team TT and a set of hilly stages including some 17 percent leg breaking "walls".
As a highly popular race on the Italian racing calendar ( Italian broadcaster Rai will televise it) it will be a showcase of strong teams including Team Sky and the new Team Wiggins and the world record holder himself.
We are proud to get the chance to compete with the best and welcome the challenge. It will up to our riders to show how they handle it.
The first 2 stages - a 96 km kermesse and a 13 km TTT are awaiting tomorrow. ( Thursday)
Our Sponsors lineup:
Hertz Israel הרץ ישראל
GU Energy Israel
Atlantic Multipower Italia Srl
Carbon Energized Underwear