Tour of Turkey starts in Konya
Irish cyclist Sam Bennett, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, came in second, while Jean-Pierre “Jempy” Drucker of the BMC Racing Team came in third.
For the second time, Tour of Turkey is being held in World Tour category.
The first stage started in Konya, home of world-renown poet and theologian Rumi, and ended in the same city on a 149.7-kilometer route.
The Tour of Turkey was promoted to World Tour category and will reach a wide audience through broadcasts in more than 120 countries.
This year’s edition sees 20 teams from across the world, including the Turkish national team, race in the 950-kilometer, six-stage tour.
In the world’s only cycling tour to connect two continents, cyclists will also ride in Eurasia tunnel under the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia on the sixth and final stage on Oct. 14.
Nine “World Tour” teams, including Astana, Bahrain-Merida and BMC Racing, are among the 20 teams with 140 cyclists competing to win the turquoise jersey.
UAE Emirates’ Italian rider Diego Ulissi won the general classification last year in Turkey and he will try to defend his Tour of Turkey title which welcomed many stars like Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Alessandro Petacchi, Adam Hansen and Sacha Modolo in the past.
The 2015 winner Kristijan Durasek, Quick-Step Floors’ Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria, who has four Giro D’Italia and two Tour de France stage victories, 2015 Paris – Roubaix winner John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo and Sam Bennet from Bora-Hansgrohe, who won four stages in 2017, will be in Turkey for more victories.
2011 European Track Cycling champion Ahmet Örken and Onur Balkan will lead the Turkish National Team.
Starting from the region that hosted Seljuk civilization, the Tour will visit turquoise covered Mediterranean and Aegean coast.
The fourth stage which will start from Marmaris will witness a summit finish at the classical Bülbül Mountain in Selçuk.
Cyclists will ride from Selçuk to Manisa in the penultimate day.
Peloton will visit Bursa, the Ottoman Empire’s first capital, on the last day. The decisive stage will start from Bursa and the winner will be decided in İstanbul after approximately 950 km, where Asia and Europe meet.
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey will be broadcast more than 160 countries around the globe. With an increasing audience every year, the event reached more than 484 million houses thanks to 284 hours airtime in 2017.
The live broadcasts will be available on TRT Spor and Eurosport in Turkey.