Canadian U23 champion Benjamin Perry to join Israeli Cycling Academy
The Canadian is the first in a series of new signings in the Israeli team’s new status as Pro Conti team.
The Israel Cycling Academy team has officially embarked on its new status as a Pro Continental team with the signing of three time Canadian Under 23 National Champion and fast rising talent, Benjamin Perry, for the next two years.
The Israeli Team revealed that Perry is the first new team signing amongst a series of young, talented and proven winners joining CA. The team will be announcing several additional rider signings in the coming days, all of whom will significantly bolster its roster, as the team confronts the demanding challenges of its inaugural Pro Continental season.
“We are excited to have Benjamin join our team” said team board member, Mr. Sylvan Adams, the Israeli Canadian businessman and philanthropist, who is a major force behind Cycling Academy’s dramatic fast paced graduation to the Pro-Continental level, only two years removed from its founding as a professional team. Adams added, “Benjamin, is a promising talent on the rise, who has already demonstrated that he is capable of preforming under pressure at crunch time at the end of races. We are confident that he will help us significantly in our quest to win races next year, as we deliver our Israeli team to the start line of some of the biggest races in the world”.
Perry (22) has been riding with Canadian Silber team for the past two years, showing a rapid development. He won 8 times in 2015 and amassed 13 podiums. He also performed well in 2016, winning the opening stage at the GP Saguenay and securing the best young rider title at both the GP Saguenay and the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. His most recent, and perhaps most impressive career result was at the Pro Tour GP of Montreal, where he bagged the KOM title.
His aggressive and daring performances there drew the attention of CA Manager Ran Margaliot, whose team participated in two Canadian Tours, GP Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce. “Benjamin impressed us significantly with the way he won that first stage, overcoming tough weather conditions, as he rode the whole stage in a breakaway, finishing it off with a winning sprint against our own solid Estonian rider, Mihkel Raim.
This is exactly what we look for in an Academy rider: talent and fighting spirit. When we later met him, we discovered a desire by Benjamin to do whatever it takes to get to the next level and compete against the best, which included a relocation to Europe, foregoing a potentially better contract in the U.S. His attitude convinced us that he would fit in perfectly on our team, and become a real asset.”
Indeed, Perry, who sees himself as an “all-rounder”, expressed his excitement to be joining the Israeli team in its inspiring journey to conquer new challenges in pro cycling. “To be part of the Academy’s great project and vision will serve as extra motivation” he said before embarking on a plane for Tel Aviv to attend a joint training camp with both the Canadian and Israeli national teams, in preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The camp will simulate the extreme weather, wind, and terrain conditions the racers can expect to face in Doha. “ I hope to be competitive, attentive, and try to deliver a good showing at my fifth World championships”. Joining the National teams at the Israel training camp will be Perry’s new teammates from the Academy, who have been invited to participate in the Team Time Trial at World’s.
CA team management has been involved in recent weeks in restructuring the whole team to prepare for its first Pro continental season. Major changes have been effected in personnel and logistics, with new sponsors and partners added. With all that change, it was important for the team to also re-sign its best riders from the existing roster, followed by a recruitment drive for new talent, which will be announced in the coming days. Team founder Ron Baron insisted that there will be no change in the main goals of the team: “to develop young riders, especially Israelis and bring them to the top-level of the sport. We are not taking shortcuts, by recruiting veteran riders just to deliver wins” he said. “From that aspect, we will stick to our start-up DNA and grow this team organically”.
Israel Cycling Academy, the country’s first professional team was founded in December 2014 as a Non-For-Profit Continental team by Israeli philantropists, supported by a number of commercial sponsorships. It has since racked up more then 20 UCI wins all around the world, as well as numerous additional podiums.