The 5th stage of the Tour of Turkey came down to a short uphill bunch sprint which had Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) reign supreme. Carlos Barbero (Caja-Rural) was 2nd and Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) got up for 3rd.
There was an early break of 3 riders that went clear and they were allowed 7 minutes before Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung took responsibility for the chase. Jay Thomson would chew up the kilometers at the head of the peloton as he brought the break back down to under 2 minutes with 60km to go.
Caja-Rural then also took an interest in the chase and by 50km to go, the leaders were caught. With the cat 3 climb next on the menu 9 riders jumped clear, Songezo Jim and Natnael Berhane were both part of the move. As Songezo was sitting in 2nd in the KOM competition at the start of the day, he made sure he collected the points at the summit moving to within 3 points of the KOM jersey.
It wasn’t long after the summit that the 9 riders were caught and then it was pretty much down to the sprinters teams to keep the pace up for the final 35km. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were riding in support of Youcef Reguigui today and things were looking good for our boys while sitting in the top 10 places with a km to go. The road would ramp up quite a bit in the final 700m though and the urgency saw a couple of riders go down. Youcef went on to finish in 13th place after dodging a few bodies.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
The final was quite chaotic with a few crashes in the final kilometer. I tried to bring Youcef up to the front today because he had really good legs. Unfortunately he was a bit closed in over the final meters so we missed out on the top 10 today.
JP Heynderickx – Sport Director
The boys did a good race today and we showed we are a very strong team. When the early break got 7 minutes we went to chase and nobody would help us. We continued to chase and Jay did a lot of work on front. He put in a great ride and pretty much closed the gap to 2’30” all by himself. We didn’t get anything in the final today, I think there was a crash that ruined our plans a little but Songezo got 3 points in the final KOM which was good. He is now in contention for the jersey and this gives us another option and card to play in the coming stages.