Presidential Tour of Cycling set for a memorable ‘silver jubilee’
Tour of Turkey race director Abdurrahman Açıkalın unveils the tour route during a press conference.Twenty-one teams and 168 riders will compete in this year’s 50th edition of the Presidential Tour of Cycling, or Tour of Turkey, organizers have announced.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül celebrated the milestone of the tour, saying: “It will be an organization worthy of the silver jubilee.”
The 50th Tour of Turkey will be run between April 27 and May 4. During the official announcement, five cyclists, who participated in the inaugural tour also took the stage.
In this year’s edition, Torku Konyaspor will represent Turkey, while Astana, OmegaPharma-Quick Step, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol are among the bill.
The eight-stage race will span a 1,254km route, starting from the Mediterranean district of Alanya and finishing in Istanbul.
The eight-stage journey will follow the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts on the first seven stages, from Alanya to İzmir. After transferring the teams from İzmir to Istanbul by air, the tour, dubbed “the world’s only intercontinental cycling stage race” will witness its traditional finish in Istanbul on May 4.
The stages three and six, Finike to Elmalı and Bodrum to Selçuk, will be the two climbing stages of the tour.
Turkish Cycling Federation chairman Emin Müftüoğlu praised the route of the tour, which is dubbed as “the only intercontinental cycling race in the world.”
“For one week, we will have Turkey’s beauties broadcast on all over the world,” Müftüoğlu said on March 19.
The tour will try to make a clean break after two years of doping troubles.
Last year, Turkey’s Mustafa Sayar won the tour but was then stripped of his title after testing positive for banned substances. Eritrean rider Natnael Berhane was subsequently declared the 2013 winner.
The initial 2012 winner, Bulgarian Ivailo Gabrovski was also stripped of his title due to testing positive for banned EPO. Alexsandr Dyachenko was named the 2012 winner.