Riding for the Israeli national team, Omer Shapira and Rotem Gafinovitz today finished second and third respectively in the UCI 1.2 Scorpion’s Pass individual time trial (ITT) in Israel.
The ITT course started with 14km of mostly flat terrain, finishing with a 5km long steep climb. The race was won by Christoforou Antri (Cyprus) with Omer finishing 39 seconds behind in second place, and Rotem 2 minutes 43 seconds behind the winner.
A disappointed Omer said after the race, “I’m not really that happy with my second place. I came here to win and on this course I expected that I could do that. I rode in control with my numbers and I divided the power well over the course. I was absolutely pushed to my limit at the end, but it wasn’t good enough for winning today.”
Tomorrow the Israeli duo will race the one-day Tour of Arava, again representing the Israeli national team. Omer says she will approach the race with a fresh view:
“Tomorrow will be a new day! We have a classic road race of 70km. It’s starting with 25km of flat terrain and then connects to where we raced today, where there’s more up and down,” said Omer.
Rotem also said she was looking forward to the new-look course tomorrow and said it’s likely to be a hard day of racing.
“I’m not really sure what to expect, except I know it will be a tough day as the course doesn’t allow anyone to take it ‘easy’ at any point.”
“The first climb, the Scorpion Pass, is probably one of the most famous climbs in Israel and the steepest! Then we continue inside to finish on the top of “Ma’ale Yerucham,” added Rotem.
The UCI 1.2 races Scorpion Pass time trial and Tour of Arava are both part of the Gran Fondo Arava Cycling Festival happening in Israel this weekend.