Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) was able to win consecutive stages at the Tour of Turkey after sprinting to victory once again during stage 2. Cavendish was able to pip Francesco Chicchi (Neri Sottoli) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida) to the line.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung again had Kristian Sbaragli and Youcef Reguigui mix it up in the final sprint finish. The fight for position though was intense as a lot of pushing and shoving would ensue. In the end the MTN-Qhubeka fast men were slightly out of position and so did not want to risk too much with a long week of racing ahead. Sbaragli would roll across the line in 18th with Reguigui a further 5 places back.
The stage was always going to be a bunch sprint, even though 5 riders did try their luck with an early escape. The break never got more than a minute and a half’s lead and the race was all together inside 15km’s to go. Omega Pharma – QuickStep was the team driving the pace all day for their man, Cavendish.
Stage 3 will be the queen stage of the Tour of Turkey with a mountain top finish sure to provide a lot of excitement while definitely shaking up the overall classification as well.
Stage 3 – Finike > Elmali (184.7km)
The queen stage, 3 massive climbs on route with the stage ending in a summit finish. The true climbers will come to the fore here and the overall race winner will most likely make it onto the podium today.
Stage 4 – Fethiye > Marmaris (124.2km)
A couple of short sharp climbs throughout the day could eliminate some of the big sprinters but a fairly large group is still expected to arrive at the finish together.
Stage 5 – Marmaris > Turgutreis (177.3km)
A few big climbs early on with a flat final 70km’s might suit a breakaway but if there are sprinters left in the peloton after the climbs they will most likely ride for a sprint.
Stage 6 – Bodrum > Selcuk (183.1km)
A pretty long stage that ends with another summit finish. Although the finishing climb isn’t all that long it is quite steep, more of a stage for the punchers than your outright climbers.
Stage 7 – Kusadasi > Izmir (144.8km)
An undulating course that shouldn’t pose too many problems for everyone left in the race at this point. A bug bunch sprint can be expected.
Stage 8 – Istanbul > Istanbul (121km)
Final stage is an 8 lap circuit race in Istanbul, should be a nice crowd spectacle ending in high speed sprint finish.
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey) – (27 April – 4 May/UCI 2.HC) Team Lineup
Staff: Manel Lacambra (Directeur Sportif), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Yvonne Houweling (Soigneur), Nico Beyens (Soigneyr), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic)