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"I am really looking forward to being between the race tapes again with the GTFR crew. After my last EWS race in 2019 in Zermatt where I had a big mechanical, I feel like I still have some unfinished business I need to take care of."
2nd, EWS Overall
2nd, EWS Round 3, Madeira
3rd, EWS Round 4, Val Di Fassa
2nd, EWS Round 6, Whistler
2nd, EWS Round 7, Northstar
1st, Trans Madeira
1st, US Open Enduro
3rd, EWS Round 6, Whistler
1st, European Continental Enduro Series Round 1, Canazei
1st, European Continental Enduro Series Round 3, Zermatt
Breakthrough EWS Rider of the Year
3rd, EWS Madeira
4th, EWS Tasmania
7th, Overall EWS
Tell us about where you are from and how you got into enduro.
I got into mountain biking at the age of 13. After riding on homemade jumps and bridges in my village for a while, I joined the local mountain bike club that at the time was a bit more focused on the Gravity disciplines, in 2017 I decided to focus on XCO and thought that there is better potential to succeed in this discipline that was a lot more developed at that time in Israel and had a national team and support from the Olympic federation. I have always been attracted to extreme sports, to the adrenalin and always had a dream- to race a DH world cup. One funny story is, in 2018 I was selected to represent Israel at the XCO world champs at the junior category- My first ever world champs. When I was training on the XCO track I always looked at the DH track and even walked the track, since that moment I had this dream in the back of my head… to be the one between those tapes one day. After 8 years of racing cross country at the highest level, I saw that I lost the passion that I had when I was younger, I felt that I don’t enjoy it anymore, at the end of 2016 (after winning my 3rd national championship XCO title) I decided to stop racing. When I told my friends that I decided to stop racing, they somehow convinced me to race one EWS race before I gave up racing for good. The next race on the calendar was EWS in Valberg - France I decided to go for it and I absolutely loved it from the first moment of practice!! A week later I jumped on a plane to Italy and managed to compete in the last EWS for 2016 in Finale Ligure. In these two races, I finished 6th, 7th. After getting some help from local sponsors and European friends I decided to try my luck and do one season as a privateer in 2017. I got the EWS Breakthrough of the Year award that year, and even managed to jump on the podium one time and the rest is history.
What is your favorite thing about riding at home?
I love the variety of the country! Half of Israel is Desert and the other half is green. I love to ride one day in the beautiful Israeli forests and the other day to shred sick trails in the desert. I love the awesome people that I meet along the way, and I love the Israeli winter that has great conditions to ride 99% of the time.
How have you seen mountain biking expand in Israel in the last couple of years?
The mountain bike scene in Israel has grown incredibly in the last couple of years. There are more people that are falling in love with mountain biking every day. Every year new clubs are opening up all around the country, more trails are being built and riders are pushing their limits more and more every year! Although the number of riders in Israel is getting bigger every year, there is still a lot of work for the Israeli riders to step up our game to catch the world level and all the discipline, and I am still hoping to see more people “taking risks” and start racing at the national and international level. Hopefully, with the Israel Enduro Series, there will be more young Israeli riders stepping up there gave and racing abroad starts from the next couple of years.
Who is your favorite rider to follow?
I really enjoy following my GTFR teammates although I normally can follow the boys only for a few seconds but I got to learn a lot from them. I always love to follow the EWS girls, learn from them, push our limits and laugh while we ride =)
If you could only ride one bike for the rest of your life what would it be?
It's a very hard choice since I love all the GT bikes I have, Grade, Zaskar, Force, La Bomba, Fury... But I would probably choose the Sensor 29". It is the bike that I love to ride the most at home. It is super fun on the downhills and it has great climbing capability so I think that it is the perfect bike if you only have one.