Young talent Adam Yates wins Tour of Turkey's 50th edition
Adam Yates (L) is congratulated by fellow British rider Mark Cavendish after winning the stage 6. AA PhotoBritish rider Adam Yates won the 50th edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey following the final stage in Istanbul on May 4.
Orica-GreenEDGE rider Yates held on to his overall classification lead and finished the eight-day tour in 30 hours, 26 minutes and 22 seconds, edging Estonia’s Rein Taaramae of team Cofidis by just five seconds.
France’s Romain Hardy, also a Cofidis rider, finished third, 39 seconds behind Hardy. At 21, Yates had his first tour victory in his debut professional season.
Yates admitted he did not come to Turkey for the General Classification lead, adding he was “pretty happy” with the win. “This is my first pro win so I’ll always remember it,” he said.
British rider Mark Cavendish of the team OmegaPharma-QuickStep won the final stage, which included a passage over the Bosphorus Bridge, in two hours and 35 minutes. The win was Cavendish’s fourth in eight stages, and sealed the British sprint king’s win of the Green Jersey as the leader of the Sprint Classification.
Speaking after the race, the sprint king said he thinks “he will be back” to Turkey in the future, although “it is not an easy race and it has lots of sprints.”
France’s Cofidis ranked first in the overall team rankings, over Spain’s Caja Rural-Seguros and Poland’s CCC Polsat. Turkey’s Konya Torku Şekerspor was fourth.
Dutch rider Marc De Maar of the team UnitedHealthcare won the Red Jersey, as the “King of the Mountains,” the title given to the best performer in the climbing stages. De Maar’s teammate Davide Frattini was second, and Yates was third in the climbing classification.
Mattia Pozzo won the White Jersey for the winner of Turkish Beauty Sprint, a classification made on leading the race on particular spots over the course of the eight days.
Turkish Cycling Federation chairman Emin Müftüoğlu said he was very happy with the way the Tour of Turkey is evolving.
He recalled an exhibition cycling tour held last month in the Presidential Palace in Ankara, in which the Turkish leader Abdullah Gül also forced the pedals to the metal to promote the event, drew great attention within sport circles.
Müftüoğlu said that many key figures of the sport’s global governing body, UCI, were in Turkey to watch the tour, showing the improvement of the competition.
Despite being in its 50th year, Tour of Turkey started a new life after 2008, opening itself to greater teams and higher profile athletes.
Apart from Cavendish, important riders such as Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Alessandro Petacchi took part in the race in the past seasons.
Müftüoğlu reinstated their bid that the Tour may advance to the ProTour series, cycling’s elite group of road races.