Tour of Turkey starts ‘Silver Jubilee’ with stage in Alanya
Some 21 teams and 168 riders, including star sprinter Mark Cavendish, will compete in this year’s 50th edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey will start with its 50th anniversary this weekend, with a high-profile group of riders promising an unforgettable silver jubilee.
Some 21 teams and 168 riders, including star sprinter Mark Cavendish, will compete in this year’s 50th edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.
Last month, 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 start in the Mediterranean district of Alanya on April 27. The eight-stage race will span a 1,254km route, starting from Alanya and finishing in Istanbul.
The eight-stage journey will trace the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts in the first seven stages, from Alanya to İzmir. After transferring the teams from İzmir to Istanbul by flight, the tour will witness its traditional finish in Istanbul on May 4.
The second stage starts April 28 and will be between Alanya and Kemer. Stages three and six, Finike to Elmalı and Bodrum to Selçuk, will be the two climbing stages of the tour.
Stage four is between Fethiye and Marmaris, with the fifth stage from Marmaris to Turgutreis. The Aegean round will end with Kuşadası to İzmir.
Turkish Cycling Federation Chairman Emin Müftüoğlu praised the tour’s route, dubbed “the only intercontinental cycling race in the world.”
“For one week, we will have Turkey’s beauties broadcasted all over the world,” Müftüoğlu said on March 19.
In this year’s edition, Torku Konyaspor will represent Turkey, while Astana, OmegaPharma-Quick Step, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol are also on the bill.
Cavendish will race for the OmegaPharma-Quick Step. The British rider, who has a combined 43 stage wins in cycling three “Grand Tours,” Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro d’Italia, will be the one to watch in the TUR. He has won the sprint classification in the Spanish Vuelta in 2010, in France in 2011 and in Italy in 2013.
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. Natnael Berhane was subsequently declared the 2013 winner. The initial 2012 winner, Ivailo Gabrovski, was also stripped of his title due to testing positive for EPO. Alexsandr Dyachenko was then named the winner.