Israelis go wild for the Giro d’Italia Grand Tour, starting in Israel from May 4-6, 2018. Photos: LaPresse-D’Alberto/Ferrari/Paolone/Alpozzi

Israelis were beyond excited to host 22 cycling teams from around the world for the May 4-6 Big Start of the 101st Giro d’Italia Grand Tour — the largest professional sporting event ever held in Israel, and the first time the Big Start was held outside Europe.

Followed by mobs of fans on foot and bike, the three-day event took the cyclists through Jerusalem, from Haifa to Tel Aviv, and from Beersheva to Eilat before continuing on to Italy. Our own Israel Cycling Academy team was the most diverse of the group, with 24 riders from 16 countries, including Christians, Jews, a Muslim and a Druze.