Australia’s Caleb Ewan won the first stage of the 57th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkiye on Sunday.
57th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkiye❮❯
57th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkiye
Ewan, a member of the Belgian team Lotto Soudal, finished in 4 hours, 38 minutes and 5 seconds to claim his win.
Jasper Philipsen of Belgian team Alpecin-Fenix came in second and Kaden Groves of Australia’s BikeExchange-Jayco was third, according to the provisional results.
“Today was a first success but there will be plenty of opportunities to come. We knew we had to be in front during the fast final kilometers and so we did,” Ewan said. “The guys did an amazing job to drop me off exactly where I needed to be. This gives me a lot of confidence.”
The professional cyclist said that the climbing section of the route brought along some difficulties, however, he entered the final section of the stage strongly and managed to come atop clearly.
Ewan returned to a winning mood almost a month after his season was put on a halt as result of sickness one week before the Milan-Sanremo cycle tour.
Multiple accidents occurred during the first stage, including a serious crash for Spanish team Equipo Kern Pharma’s Danny van der Tuuk, who had to be rushed to a hospital.
A total of 167 racers from 25 teams competed in the first stage of what is the world’s only intercontinental cycling competition.
They covered 207 kilometers (129 miles) from the Aegean tourism hub of Bodrum in Mugla province to the beach resort town of Kusadasi in neighboring Aydin province, a scenic route in a region known for its rich history and mesmerizing natural beauty.
1st stage panorama
The opening-day of the race bore witness to a fierce competition, according to a statement by the tour organization following the conclusion of first day.
Halil Dogan, a Turkish rider of Bikeaid, was the first one to attack from the gun and five others joined him to make Sunday’s breakaway, including Julen Irizar of Euskaltel, Jonathan Clarke of Wildlife Generation, Vitaliy Buts of Sakarya, Burak Abay of Spor Toto and Abram Stockman of Saris Rouvy.
As their advantage reached five minutes, the teams of the sprinters, mainly Alpecin-Fenix, Bora-Hansgrohe, BikeExchange-Jayco and Israel-Premier Tech got organized to maintain the time gap about three minutes. Subsequently, Lotto-Soudal sped up the tempo while approaching the 50 kilometers to go mark, where the deficit of group of cyclists got less than a minute.
Racing for the two subsidiary classifications, Buts took the white jersey of the Treasures of Turkiye Sprints as he passed first at 87km and grabbed five points in the King of the Mountains competition before the regrouping with 35km remaining.
Arkea-Samsic took control of the peloton up the 4km long climb whose summit was located 29km before the end. Therefore, Nicolas Edet, the winner of the climbers’ classification at the 2013 Vuelta a España, scored five KOM, just like Buts, but the Frenchman was awarded the red jersey at the benefice of highest categorized climb.
Lots of action also took place in the downhill with Sean Bennett looking for glory within 20km to go and a few crashes happening at the back of the reduced pack.
The American from China Glory surrendered 5km before the line. Patrick Bevin of Israel-Premier Tech tried to escape for the second time, but it was eventually a bunch sprint in the coastal town of Kusadasi.
Arkea-Samsic gave a strong lead out to Nacer Bouhanni, but it was Ewan who came out of the box in a perfect timing to beat Jasper Philipsen, one of the riders who went down, and Kaden Groves.
The second stage will begin at 10.40 a.m. local time (0740GMT) on Monday, a route of 158.4km (98.4 miles) from the ancient city of Ephesus to the Aegean coastal town of Alacati.
The eight-stage Tour of Turkiye spans a total distance of 1,303km (810 miles) and will culminate in Istanbul on April 17.
The racers will change continents at three different points – from Asia to Europe on the sixth day, returning to Istanbul’s Asian side in the later stages and then crossing to the metropolis’ European part again.
Six WorldTour teams are in the hunt for the title this year, up from three in the previous edition, along with 12 professional and seven continental teams.
The race is being broadcast live on TRT Spor Yildiz and Eurosport, while Anadolu Agency is among the sponsors of the global event.
Source: Anadolu Agency