Local boy Sayar on course for Tour of Turkey victory

Local boy Sayar on course for Tour of Turkey victory

Local boy Sayar on course for Tour of Turkey victory

Sayar will win the Tour if he can maintain his position in the last two stages. AA photo

Turkish rider Mustafa Sayar is poised to win the Presidential Cycling Tour with a stunning sixth stage victory on April 26. The Konya Torku Şeker Spor rider claimed the turquoise jersey with only two stages to go in the 49th edition of the Tour of Turkey. 

The 24-year-old won the daunting 183-kilometer sixth stage on the Bodrum to Selçuk with a late attack on the last kilometers of the climbing route. 

“I’m very happy. I thank very much all my team,” Sayar said to the TRT reporter after the race. “This is a very hard race, there are very strong riders, very good teams.” 

With the victory, Sayar overtook Natnael Berhane as the overall classification leader and enters the weekend’s final two stages in a good position to win the Tour. 

The 124.5-kilometer Kuşadası to İzmir route will be run on April 27 and the Tour will be wrapped up with the final stage in Istanbul on April 28. 

On April 26, Sayar powered past the peloton with a late attack in the last two kilometers and held on to his lead. 

Sayar finished the route, which is one of the two longest stages and arguably the hardest with its tough climbing, in 4 hours, 40 minutes and 9 seconds. Cofidis’ French riders Yohan Bagot and Nicolas Edet followed Sayar from 18-second and 23-second gaps respectively.
Second Berhane and third Bagot are following Sayar in the general classification. If Sayar manages to win the Tour, he will be the first Turk to do so in the last six years when the Presidential Tour of Cycling increased its profile and started to attract Pro and Pro-Continental teams. 

The last Turk to win the Tour was Mert Mutlu in 2003. Sayar said that it was important for Turkey to win the Tour. “This is my home race,” he said. “This is a gift for my country. This is a very good ending.”