Epic Israel Race Diary day 1: Big miles and sore legs in the holy land

Our staffer Pete has been to Israel before, but that was last year, and on trail bikes. The mission last year was to sample all that The Holy Land has to offer for those who like to earn their descents.

This trip is the polar opposite of that, however. The next 3 days sees Pete covering over 180 miles under an unforgiving sun in his first ever mountain bike stage race – Epic Israel. How hard will it be? Let’s find out shall we?

After his previous trip to Israel, Pete was trying to conjure up an idea of how to get back there to ride bikes. Little under a year later and he’d get an invite to race the Epic Israel, The Holy Land’s main mountain bike stage race. That means riding 180 miles in 3 days and a whole lot of sun, dust and many, many pedal revolutions.

Today was the first day of racing, and after 112km in the saddle, taking an energy-sapping 8 hours, Pete has penned us this race diary.


The previous day’s storm clouds gave us a spectacular #lightbro display as we arrived at the race village.


Our home for the 3 days of racing, a British-built caravan.


Unpacking everything to find all the important stuff.

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Nerves were high as we rolled out to join the corral at race start.


Mass start madness is never an easy way to start such a testing day.


Did I say it was dusty?


Oh my days, today was the furthest I have ever ridden on my bicycle. 112km off road in 8 hours had me asleep during my post-race massage.

Pete has been prepping hard for this. Find out what it takes to train for the Israel Epic

Also check out the Saracen Mantra Carbon – Pete’s bike of choice for this event