Israeli cycling champion struck and killed by unlicensed driver fleeing police

Guy Timor, 21, mowed down by erratic driver in south during last training session before he was set to represent Israel in Grand Prix competition

Illustrative photo of a Traffic Police patrol car. (Israel Police)
Illustrative photo of a Traffic Police patrol car. (Israel Police)

A member of the Israeli national cycling team was killed on Thursday by an unlicensed drunk driver who was trying to escape police near the Nehora interchange in the south.

Guy Timor, 21, was a member of the Israeli national team in track and road cycling. He was killed during his final training session before he was set to fly to the Czech Republic for a Grand Prix competition.

Police said in a statement that a suspect in his twenties had been detained. The initial investigation revealed that he had previously been caught driving without a license.

The driver, who has never held a license, apparently hit Timor while trying to escape from police officers who ordered him to stop when he was seen driving erratically.

Dashcam footage showed the car running a red light moments before mowing down Timor’s bicycle.

Timor has represented Israel in recent years in the European and world championships. He won the silver medal in the 2024 Israeli Track Cycling Championship, as well as the silver medal in the U-23 Israeli Road Cycling Championship.

“It’s a huge and painful loss,” Timor’s coach Tzachi Bogen said on Thursday. “It’s unbelievable how in one moment a friend was taken from us.”

“Guy started riding at the age of eight… We lost a man who was all about giving, and the best way to see it was the way he rode. Cycling appears to be an individual sport, but teamwork plays a significant role and Guy was always a person who took care of the team’s success first before his individual success.”

Timor’s teammate Yonatan Turgeman also eulogized his friend, while lamenting in an interview with Army Radio that the roads are not safe for cyclists.

“He was an amazing rider, always with a smile. There was nobody who didn’t want to ride with him,” Turgeman said. “Every developed country has cycling infrastructure, but not our country. We cannot protect ourselves.”

Israel saw a general rise in the number of fatal car crashes in 2023, with a total of 358 people killed in 313 fatal accidents, according to data from Israel’s National Road Safety Authority. This represents a 2 percent increase in deaths compared to the 2022 total, and a 5% increase compared to the 2020-2022 average.

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