The 2nd stage of the Tour of Turkey would be another sprint royal. Unfortunately Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung would find themselves out of position with 1km to go and no way through as Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) sprinted ahead to a 2nd win in as many days.
The day got off to a positive start for our African team as Adrien Niyonshuti got into the 5 rider break of the day. Going clear after 20km of racing, the escapees built up a lead of just on 4 minutes. The profile always lent itself to the sprinters and so Etixx-Quickstep and Orica-Greenedge controlled the peloton all stage.
The race unfolded in a typical flat sprint stage finish with the sprinters teams able to reel the break in at will. The only real drama came at around 40km to go when Theo Bos, Kristian Sbaragli and Jay Thomson hit the deck on a slippery corner. All 3 MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were able to get up and back into the peloton with very little fuss.
Adrien and his breakaway mates were eventually reeled in with 15km to go. The sprint trains then formed on cue with the wide roads allowing for up to 8 teams lining up next to each other. It was with 3km to go that the 5 lane road became 2, and a major jostle for position followed. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung would frustratingly be caught out with sprinters Theo, Kristian and Youcef stuck behind a number of bodies, unable to perform their sprint.
Cavendish took the win with Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) 2nd and Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani) in 3rd.
JP Heynderickx – Sport Director
We are very happy with Adrien today. He put in a very good performance after a tough few days leading up to the race. I am very proud of him. In the sprint I am not too sure what went wrong for our boys but we are not in the results. We will have more chances later in the race. Tomorrow is now a very important stage for the GC. Whoever wins tomorrow has a good chance of taking the GC so we will look to Serge and Natnael to have a good day.