Adam Yates (Orica Greenedge) rode his way into the blue leaders jersey at the Tour of Turkey by winning the 6th stage earlier today. Davide Formolo (Cannondale) finished 2nd behind the Brit on the summit finish with Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat) rounding out the stage podium. While Yates took the leaders jersey, it was only by a margin of 1 second as Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) came in just 7 seconds after Yates.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had an unfortunate day with Merhawi Kudus dropping from 4th on GC to 14th after the 20 year old Eritrean climber lost 1’03” to Yates today. Kudus finally succumbed to the injuries he sustained after crashing on stage 4 two days ago and was not able to follow the leaders over the final 2km’s on the finishing climb.
The early racing initially saw 6 riders go clear although 1 of the escapees dropped back to the peloton after just a few km’s. The 5 riders then pressed on to open up a 6 minute lead before Astana, Cofidis and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung decided to chase the leaders down.
With 28km to go the catch was made and the race was on for teams to deliver their climber to the foot of the final hill first. The pace was so fierce that before the climb officially started there was already only around 30 riders left at the head of the race. Dennis van Niekerk, Linus Gerdemann and Merhawi Kudus were all well positioned as the climb began. It was not to be our day though as Gerdemann and Van Niekerk would soon pull off after their jobs were done and Kudus then held on for as long as he could before the final selection of riders rode away.
Directuer Sportif – Manel Lacambra
The goal for today was try to move up to a GC podium position and at the same time try to have a top result on the stage. We knew it was not going to be easy because Merhawi was not in perfect condition after his bad crash but we wanted try.
We were working all day from the beginning of the stage once the break was formed. Ferekalsi and Martin did and excellent job controlling the gap to the break. At the start of the day Cofidis helped us and then Drapac and Astana joined us too. This made sure that we were able to bring the break back to our group. From this point the team just needed lead Merhawi to the last climb.
We did a good job at leading Merhawi into the final climb but perhaps he had too much pain in his leg to push harder on the steeper part of the climb. Dennis and Linus helped Merhawi on the last 3km to try and not lose too much time on the GC but he was in too much pain and just not feeling well. So we know the reason why we had a bad result today but we are still happy with how we have been racing this tour.
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 big 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)