Tour of Turkey ready to set off
ISTANBULThe Presidential Tour of Turkey (TUR) enters its second half-century this year, and an international peloton of the highest order will join the opening celebrations at the seaside resort of Alanya, on the Mediterranean coast, where the first of the eight stages begins on April 26.
Speaking at a press meeting in Istanbul on April 8, Presidency Secretary-General İbrahim Kasırga said the event creates an opportunity to promote Turkey on the international stage.
“Our country is continuing to prove itself in international sports events,” said Kasırga.
Turkish Cycling Federation chair Emin Müfütoğlu said the TUR had developed into a significant “brand” for the country.
“Hopefully it will be one of the top events in the world by its 100th edition,” he said.
The 2015 TUR will host five teams from Italy, four from Belgium, two from each of Australia and the United States, and one from each of Colombia, France, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain and the host nation, Turkey.
The 21 teams confirmed comprise six WorldTour teams, 14 ProContinental teams and one Continental team. They include the team of last year’s champion Adam Yates (Orica - GreenEDGE), the team of runner-up Rein Taaramäe (Astana Pro Team), the team of nine-time TUR stage winner André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), and Etixx - QuickStep, whose sprinter, the former World Champion Mark Cavendish, won four stages in the 2014 TUR.
The WorldTour teams are completed by Lampre - Merida and Tinkoff - Saxo.
The route of the 2015 race retains its essential charm through the southwestern coast of Turkey, combining tantalizing stages for the sprinters with sumptuous mountain stages where the overall results classification will, in all probability, be decided.
The TUR will start in Alanya and travel to İzmir through seven mountain and sprint stages, ending with a final stage in Istanbul on May 3.
The final stage through Istanbul will start between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, in Sultanahmet Square, over the Bosphorus Bridge that connects two continents and then eight final circuits before the final sprint.
The Bosphorus Bridge will be crossed twice in this year’s race, the organizers announced on April 8.
This year’s global TUR coverage will largely mirror the 2014 broadcast schedule, and aims to surpass the outstanding figures attained a year ago, with 190 territories covered, 21 TV networks carrying race coverage (seven of them live), a total of 183 hours broadcast, and estimated figures of over 580 million households reached.
The Belgian production company Videohouse, with its team of expert producers, cameramen, technicians and motorbike pilots, will film the event and supply race coverage to a host of international broadcasters.
Eurosport commentary teams from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Poland and
Turkey will provide on-site race commentary. In Europe, continent-wide coverage will be on the two stations Eurosport 1 and 2, which will provide more than 24 hours of viewing, including 13 hours 15 minutes of live coverage and 11 hours 30 minutes of delayed and repeat programming in 56 different countries.