Tour of Turkey – Yates continues to lead


On the penultimate stage in the Tour of Turkey, it was the day of the sprinters and Cavendish was beaten into 3rd by Viviani whilst Adam Yates continues to lead overall

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Tour of Turkey – Yates continues to lead


ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Adam Yates avoided a series of late race crashes on the penultimate stage of the Tour of Turkey to finish on bunch time in Izmir. The neo-pro retains his 1” advantage over Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) ahead of Sunday’s circuit race in Istanbul.

Elia Viviani (Cannondale) beat out Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in the high-speed sprint finish.

A three rider breakaway slipped up the road in the opening kilometres of the lumpy road stage. Piotr Gawronski (CCC Polsat Polkowice), Wesley Kreder (Wanty – Group Gobert) and Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac) built up a maximum advantage of 2’55 in the first hour of the stage. With Sulzberger best placed on the overall classification in 34th place at 10’44, Yates and company were happy to allow the gap to hover around the three minute mark until the business end of the stage.

“In our team meeting, we had said that we would cover any early dangerous moves,” explained Yates. “We couldn’t allow anyone high on the general classification to get away. Jens [Mouris] and Damien [Howson] did a really good job with that. With the three guys up the road, it was perfect for us. We could always bring them back quite easily.”

“Our tactic today was to let an early break go and control it with a few riders,” said Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean. “We wanted to keep Adam out of trouble and ensure he finished in the bunch. We managed to do all of that. We did have a slight scare with the crashes at the end, but we did all right to avoid them.”

“The team has done a really great job for Adam,” Dean added. “Jens Mouris and Damien Howson were especially fantastic today. I think it gives Adam a lot of confidence to have those guys around him.”

Whilst ORICA-GreenEDGE could have allowed the leaders a small advantage all the way to the finish, Cannondale and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step invested in a field sprint. They duly sent riders to the head of the peloton to take up the chase. Twenty five kilometres from the finish, the gap had fallen below the minute mark. The bunch overtook the leaders nine kilometres from the line.

“From the start, we took over at the front,” said Yates. “We got help from Cannondale and Quick-Step later in the day. In terms of stress, it quite easy until the last five kilometres.”

As sprint trains jostled for control on the front, two large crashes disrupted the finale. Several riders went down in the last swopping corner ahead of the line. A touch of wheels in the finishing stretch resulted in a second, larger crash, throwing riders off their bikes and into the barriers.

“We were lucky to avoid that last one,” noted Dean. “The boys just missed it. We didn’t have anyone go down today.”

“We eased up a little bit as we went through that last corner,” Yates explained. “We lost a couple places so we didn’t come down. In that second crash, we just got lucky. We were going pretty fast. When you’re going at such high speeds, you don’t have time to slow down, but we did manage to avoid it. Other than that, the day was quite stress free.”

The Tour of Turkey comes to a close tomorrow with a 121 kilometre circuit race in the capitol city of Istanbul. Traditionally, the stage comes down to a field sprint.
“We’re not counting our chickens before they hatch,” said Dean. “It’s a circuit race, but we’ll still need to be very attentive. It’s our main priority. As long as we stay out of trouble, we have a very good chance at winning the overall.”

Third for Cavendish

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Mark Cavendish finished 3rd in the fifth bunch sprint of Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. Cavendish had a five man leadout in the final kilometers of 136.3km Tour of Turkey Stage 7 on Saturday.

However, as the peloton approached a 180-degree turn at about 2km to go, leadouts began battling each other for ideal position, which left many trains scrambling to find their riders past the turn.

OPQS was able to guide Cavendish so efficiently through the chaos that he had a one-man leadout, with a gap, in the final meters. The Manx Missile launched first, but Elia Viviani (Cannondale) soon followed and was able to close to get the victory. Andrea Guardini (Astana) finished 2nd.

OPQS looks next to a final flat stage, 121km Stage 8, on Sunday. Cavendish has won three stages of Tour of Turkey so far, and still wears the green “points” jersey.

1 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale 03:04:25
2 GUARDINI Andrea Astana Pro Team
3 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4 BOECKMANS Kris Lotto Belisol
5 BOS Theo Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
6 SBARAGLI Kristian MTN – Qhubeka
7 ÖRKEN Ahmet Torku Şekerspor
8 VAN STAEYEN Michael Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
9 HANSON Ken UnitedHealthcare
10 WIPPERT Wouter Drapac Professional Cycling
11 PETACCHI Alessandro Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
12 MAS BONET Lluís Guillermo Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
13 FöRSTER Robert UnitedHealthcare
14 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol
15 BARBIN Enrico Bardiani – CSF
16 KIENDYS Tomasz CCC Polsat Polkowice
17 VERHELST Louis Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
18 RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano Lampre-Merida
19 FORMOLO Davide Cannondale
20 KAL Mirac Torku Åžekerspor

21 COBO ACEBO Juan Jose Torku Åžekerspor
34 YATES Adam Orica GreenEDGE
42 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice
52 GREIPEL André Lotto Belisol
54 MEERSMAN Gianni Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
55 VANSPEYBROUCK Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
66 NORRIS Lachlan Drapac Professional Cycling
71 SULZBERGER Bernard Drapac Professional Cycling

1 YATES Adam Orica GreenEDGE 10 27:51:22
2 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 00:01
3 HARDY Romain Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 00:39
4 FORMOLO Davide Cannondale 00:40
5 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice 00:44
6 COBO ACEBO Juan Jose Torku Åžekerspor 00:45
7 DURASEK Kristijan Lampre-Merida
8 SANCHEZ Luis Leon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 00:47
9 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol 00:54
10 BARBIN Enrico Bardiani – CSF 01:04



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