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by Shane Stokes
December 23, 2017
Prudhomme wants quick resolution to Froome adverse analytical finding case; Australian and world cycling mourns loss of Jason Lowndes; Heart surgery will mean Boom misses the Tour Down Under; Tour stage winners Roglic and Groenewegen extend contracts, Kruijswijk to miss Giro; Scarponi’s wife: “We never felt alone or abandoned”; After leaving Israel Cycling Academy, Orken talks about future plans; Cycling Australia announces ‘landmark’ TV coverage for national road race championships; Rás Tailteann confirmed for 2018 despite ongoing sponsor search; Video: Uran highlights Colombian talent; Video: Bizarre spin session
Turkish time trial champion Ahmet Orken has expanded on his reasons for leaving the Israel Cycling Academy team, saying that he remains committed to succeeding in the sport and hopes to return to high-level international competition in the future.
“It’s the most precious thing for me to share with you all the changes about my life,” he said in a public statement. “We have mutually terminated the agreement that we signed with the Israeli team for the new season. I am continuing my journey by protecting my target which is racing at World Tour level again.”
On Thursday the team said that he had left due to the rising tensions in the Middle East following President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and thus recognise the city as Israel’s capital. The Israel Cycling Academy team suggested that pressure put on Orken’s family by others was a major factor.
He elaborated on that on Friday. “I decided not to leave my family more concerned with increasing political tensions so I decided to continue my career in my country,” he said.
“I would like to state that this is not only about the place I live, the environment, or the interest for different reasons, it is about my principles.” He ended by saying that he hopes to have “new and beautiful” news in the future.