Routes 2018


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2018 routes

Coming to design the 2018 routes we felt a bit like we are nurturing our intimidate relationships with the race and its routes. It’s been six years now and we kind of wanted to spice things up but not to take away from the traditional epic race routes that our competitors loved to hate along the years. Same as a couple looking to bring back to excitement to their marriage lives we were aspiring to create a new spark straying away too much from the exhilarating  sensation of pure hardship and achievement.

Approaching a new terrain, in the Jerusalem Mountains gave us literally goosebumps as we were given the opportunity to utilize some of the epic climbs and single treks in the country – after all this is the Mecca of Israeli cycling!
We present you with the 2018 routes!
The race village location at Ya’arim Hotel is paramount and have a great meaning this year! With altitude of 780M, it means that riders are free to use our friendly advice – keep something in reserve for the end of the stage climb which will usually feature an 800M ascent!
Nestled at the heart of Jerusalem Mountains, The view from the race village is absolutely amazing! It’s higher than Ein Rafa, Ein Nakuba and it also a great lookout to the scenery village of Abu-Gosh.


Stage 1     

Straight from the gun, the riders will take an asphalt road, turning into a gravel and looping the Ma’ala Hamisha Kibutz.
Few more kilometers of rolling hills will lead the racers to a good 4x4 road descending fast with some bumps to make it interesting – technical riders will enjoy some air time at this stage.
Than we are for the first uphill challenge of the day, in which we will start to see some separation as technical ascent will be on the menu.
The downhill will resume with some of the most scenery 4x4 roads, leading the riders to the Yehuda plains and making way for the stage fast (and dusty) part – 4x4 roads in between the vineyards and forest trails, leading to a refreshing stop at the  bike shop at Latrun. This is where your peloton riding skills will help you gain some time and conserve energy to be much needed later.
Soon after, and around the 45KM mark of the stage the scenery will switch into single treks – not all of the them downhill… 
66KM into the stage come the ‘all what you need to do it get home’ part. 18KM long with 900M vertical with little bit of hike the bike will await the racers.
This is exactly the point in time that our routes ‘guinea pigs’ made the remark that whomever conducted himself/herself properly along the stage from energy, hydration and food perspective will be able to face the challenge and maybe even enjoy it.

Stage 2

Get ready for the 2018 edition queen stage! The toughest of them all in this year’s race and one of the toughest ever!
Straight from the gun riders will experience the stunning narrow roads and paths in the postcard-like village of Abu-Gosh
Viewers will be able to watch on live from the helicopter camera the magnificent renovated church, the floral tolerance square and the beautiful mosque.
6KM into the stage riders will go through under path and soon hit some paths which will force them to dismount for a short walk.
Following some more selection on steep but short climbs the race will visit shortly a single trek and then straight to the first major climb of the day. After that there are 5KM more of hilly terrain that will mix ironically 40KM/H descending, feeling the cool breeze with single digit speed uphill segments in which you will look (to no avail) for another gear…
It is a day full of valleys and mountains crossing over 4x4 roads  and it will include some of the key monuments of the area. The views are stunning – if you can afford to take a look your heart will sure love it. Still worth mentioning almost no plains at all – it’s all up and down. The route will take the riders into the southern part of the Yehuda plains – the Ella Valley and then back north to climb again to the race village. Around 93KM mark, while climbing, you’ll feel familiar with the path as it will merge with stage 1 end of the day climb. Challenging it after almost 100KM and 2000M vertical will be totally different experience involving all kinds of pain ending with the amazing sense of fulfillment as you’ll enter the race village.

Stage 3

As always with stage 3 of the Epic Israel, do not let the numbers put you off guard!
It is short by definition but as always present some surprising hardships for the racers.
Existing the race village riders will start descending nice scenic route not used before in the ’18 edition. After 3KM racers will take a 2.5KM punishing sequence of short paved ‘walls’ that will make the selection and also will give each one a good indication where his/her legs and recovery after 2 days of racing. Following that the riders will hit a fast, flowing and known to the locals single trek.
The fun part continues with shaded nice 4x4 paths that will take the riders to the lowest point of the stage
Here the pace will change as the riders will start to climb back to the race village. Some good news – besides the final steep kilometers the rest of the climb involve pretty moderate and reasonable gradients. 
Just before crossing underneath highway 1, riders will able to enjoy the last single trek section of the 2018 edition.
You’ll feel very close to the race village but be prepared to some ‘weird’ route directions that will take you downhill away from the music in the race village and then up again – don’t worry You’ll get there soon..


Personally it was a great experience for us designing this years’ routes. We are not native to the Jerusalem Mountains and we went through exhilarating, breath taking experience coming to learn without priors the area crown jewels.
We feel grateful for that experience and hope you’ll enjoy the amazing atmosphere of the region.  +972526305238
Good luck to all!
  Ford Epic Israel powered by TREK Team

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