Tour of Turkey winner is Gabrovski
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
AFP PhotoBulgarian Ivailo Gabrovski won a historic victory for Konya Torku Şekerspor yesterday, becoming the first rider from a Turkish team to claim the Presidential Tour of Cycling, or Tour of Turkey, overall win.
Gabrovski successfully defended his Turquoise Jersey as the overall leader on the last stage of the 48th edition of the tour, which included a crossing over the Bosphorus Bridge.
Dutch rider Theo Bos won the last stage yesterday; the Rabobank rider also won the opening stage of the tour.
Gabrovski, who kept the overall classification lead for six stages, hailed his victory as “unforgettable.”
“It is a great joy for me to win this race,” Gabrovski said after receiving the Turquoise Jersey from Turkish President Abdullah Gül. “I will never forget this happy moment.”
This is the second tour win of Gabrovski after his 2007 victory, but the Bulgarian said this time it was more special.
“I won the tour five years ago, but this time it is more meaningful,” Gabrovski said. “The level of the tour really increased in those five years. There were many high-profile riders this time round, so this victory is more important for me.”
For the first time, the tour started in Antalya and finished in Istanbul, spanning some of the country’s most beautiful coastal parts, instead of the reverse route from previous years.
Gül also hailed the importance of the tour. “It is really nice that a Turkish team won the tour,” Gül told state broadcaster TRT after the race. “But what is more important was that millions of people worldwide could see the beauty of Turkey in the tour.”
Gos overcame a late crash where more than half a dozen riders fell with just two kilometers left. After falling, he returned to the race and amazingly managed to keep his green jersey, finishing the stage in two hours, 32 minutes and 36 seconds.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Andrew Fenn came second, while Dutch rider Stefan Van Dijk was
Maxim Belkov won the Turkish Beauties award, given to points gathered in selected rounds.