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Guy Niv, the first Israeli to race the Tour de France, retires

Niv finished two editions of the Tour: 'It’s the toughest decision I have ever made, but the flame inside has gone out.'

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Guy Niv, the cyclist who made history as the first Israeli to race in the Tour de France, will retire from professional cycling, team officials confirmed Monday.

The 28-year-old Niv informed Israel Premier Tech brass two weeks ago and, although he was asked to reconsider, he stuck to his decision to end his career this season.

“It was the toughest decision I have ever made, but the flame inside that has burned since I started racing has gone out,” Niv said Monday.

“There are many reasons behind it, but the main one is that I came to realize that I no longer have the drive and motivation that are essential to reaching the heights I am capable of as a pro cyclist,” he said.

Niv started six grand tours in his career, and finished five, including the 2020 Tour and the 2022 Tour.

He said “something turned off inside me” during the 2022 season.

“I will admit that I always believe I would call it quits only when I reached my full potential. I am still far from that point. Actually, I recently finished my second TDF with the best performance of all my previous five grand tours, proving that I am still progressing, but I believe still that it’s time for me to leave it all behind.”

Team founder and co-owner Ron Baron said Niv was a trailblazer within Israeli cycling.

“Guy is the rider who realized the goal and dream we set on achieving when we started this project back in 2014 – to have an Israeli rider race in the greatest race of all and to inspire the young generation of cyclists in Israel,” Baron said. “Guy is a role model to many in Israel and abroad. We truly regret that he is leaving but respect his decision. We are excited to see the young Israeli talent that is coming up and hope to see the best of them race with IPT and follow in Guy’s footsteps.”

Guy Niv finished five grand tours, including two editions of the Tour de France. (Photo: Noa Arnon/courtesy IPT)