Sepulveda wins ‘Queen Stage’ of Tour of Turkey
Eduardo Sepulveda from the Drone Hopper-Androni team won the 57th Tour of Turkey’s Stage four, which is known as the “Queen Stage” and is the most challenging lap between the western province of İzmir and Mount Spil in the neighboring province of Manisa, on April 13.
“Since the beginning of the year, the team told me I would be coming here, and I was looking for a good result on this stage,” said the Argentinian cyclist who took over the race lead from Jasper Philipsen from the Alpecin-Fenix team.
“I won, and I don’t believe it, but I’m very happy. I’ve put in a lot of years of work, and it has finally paid off.”
Patrick Bevin from the Israel Premier Tech team won the sprint for second place ahead of Harm Vanhoucke from the Lotto Soudal team.
“Sepuldeva will take a big advantage to the last four stages of the Tour of Turkey,” TRT commentators said amid the broadcast of the race.
Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) launched a series of accelerations earlier on the climb, but he was unable to gain any traction. When asked about his chance at the overall victory in the Tour of Turkey, Sepulveda said, “I don’t know; there are still four days to go. There were also a lot of crashes yesterday [April 12], and I fell two times. I had a little pain, but I won today [yesterday], so I’m happy.”
The 57th Tour of Turkey started on April 11 with the first-day stage between two Aegean tourism hubs, Bodrum and Kuşadası, with 175 cyclists from 25 teams from 14 countries.
On the fourth day of the race, cyclists pedaled a 147-kilometers route to reach Mount Spil.
On April 14, a 192-kilometer stage between Manisa and the famous Ayvalık district in the northwestern province of Balıkesir will be run.
The Çanakkale 1915 bridge, inaugurated on March 18, will be part of the total route of 1,308 kilometers this year.
Cyclists will pass the bridge connecting the European and the Asian sides in the northwestern province of Çanakkale on April 15. The race will end on April 17 in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, with cyclists passing the July 15th Martyrs Bridge from the European side to the Anatolian side and coming back.
The broadcast of the race will reach some 700 million households across the globe, according to an official statement by the Tour of Turkey administration.
On the second day of the race, a dramatic incident happened when some cyclists crashed into spectators.
In a video posted on Twitter, a man was seen walking on the course with his back to racers. Some spectators on the sidewalk shouted at him in panic as another fan jumped into the course to take him out. However, Mirco Maestri from Eolo-Kometa hit the pedestrians sending both to the ground.
Among the four other cyclists crashing hard were Nacer Bouhanni from Arkea-Samsic and Manuel Peñalver from Burgos-BH who were hospitalized.
Bouhanni suffered a fracture of the first cervical vertebra and Peñalver suffered a broken elbow that required surgery.
The other two injured were able to continue.
The Turkish Cycling Federation has been organizing the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey since 1963, and initially, it was known as the “Marmara Tour.”
The tour gained international status for the first time in 1965 and was taken under the auspices of Presidential authority in 1966.