Team Israel Start-Up Nation, the Israeli cycling team competing at this year’s Tour de France for the very first time, announced week that its members will wear anti-viral face masks by Israeli startup Sonovia Ltd. during the annual bicycle race.
The masks are necessary as part of measures to protect the riders and the public amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The team will wear the SonoMask by Sonovia, a Ramat-Gan based developer of anti-pathogen, anti-bacterial, and textiles. The Israeli startup has said that lab tests have shown that the face masks can neutralize over 90 percent of the coronavirus. The mask is also reusable and can be washed 100 times without losing its effectiveness.
Sonovia’s tech consists of a novel, ultrasound-based, antimicrobial coating applied to fabric and textiles. The technology mechanically infuses metal oxides nanoparticles onto textiles during an ultrasonic-assisted impregnation process with the specialized chemical compound turning the textiles into highly effective blocks against bacteria and fungi, the company has said.
The Tour de France began on Saturday, August 29. It features an Israeli team for the first time in history. The riders are Dan Martin, André Greipel, Ben Hermans, Hugo Hofstetter, Krists Neilands, Guy Niv, Nils Politt, and Tom Van Asbroeck. Guy Niv, 26, is the only Israeli-born member of the team.