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Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey to kick off in Antalya as newcomer to UCI World Tour

by Murat Agca, AIPS Europe Treasurer

ANTALYA, October 9, 2017 - The 53rd Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey will be held on October 10-15. After being promoted to the World Tour category at the beginning of this year, 2017 is the first edition for the Tour in world cycling’s elite category. Kicked of in 1963 and upgraded to international status in 1965, the Tour has made significant progress over the years.

Four world tour teams (Astana, Bora Hansgrohe, Trek Segafredo, UAE Team Emirates) and eight professional continental teams, consisting of eight cyclists, will ride from Alanya to İstanbul to win the Turquoise Jersey which will be given to the leader of the race. Turkish National Team, which will be lead by Ahmet Örken, will be within the peloton during the six stages.

The 1022 km long race will start in Alanya on October 10 with a 176.7 km stage, which will finish in Kemer. In the second day, cyclists will ride 206 km from Kumluca to Fethiye. The race will be moved to Fethiye-Marmaris for stage 3. The fourth stage is arguably the toughest day for the riders. The 204.1 km long stage from Marmaris to Selçuk includes this years only first category climb and a summit finish at the classical Bülbül Mountain. Stage 5 between Selçuk and İzmir will be the last race in Mediterranean and Ege Regions.

Riders will then take the competition to the final stage in Istanbul where they cross between the continents, from Asia to Europe, via Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and complete the day on Sultanahmet Square, the symbol of the historic peninsula. Turkey’s F1 circuit İstanbul Park, the start of the last stage, will be visited for the first time by The Tour.

In 2016, it was Caja Rural’s Portuguese rider Jose Gonçalves who won the Turquoise Jersey at Selçuk after eight stages. While last local champion is Mert Mutlu in 2003, cyclists such as Adam Yates, Kristijan Durasek, Giovanni Visconti and Daryl Impey are among the previous winners. Apart from Turquoise Jersey, the riders will fight for three more jerseys. The best climber, who will be named “The King of the Mountains”, will wear Red Jersey. The best sprinter collecting

the highest score by passing the sprint gates located on the straight tracks will be entitled to wear the Green Jersey. And the Beauties of Turkey primes leader will wear the White Jersey, referring to spectacular natural beauties of Turkey.

2017 edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey’s course has opportunities for sprinters. Bora Hansgrohe’s in form Irish rider Sam Bennet, who beat Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel in the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro last week, will seek sprint victories against Edward Theuns from Trek Segafredo and home hero Ahmet Örken. The likes of Diego Ulissi (Emirates), Jesper Hansen (Astana), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek Segafredo) and last years second placed rider David Arroyo (Caja Rural) will try to add their names into the winners list in Turkey among others.

The participant teams are as follows:

1. Turkish National Team

2. Astana Pro Team / KAZ (World tour team)

3. Bora Hansgrohe / GER (World tour team)

4. Trek Segafredo / USA (World tour team)

5. UAE Team Emirates / UAE (World tour team)

6. Caja Rural – Seguras Riga / ESP (Professional continental team)

7. CC Sprandi Polkowice / POL (Professional continental team)

8. Gazprom Rusvelo / RUS (Professional continental team)

9. Wilier Triestina / ITA (Professional continental team)

10. Soul Brasil Pro / BRA (Professional continental team)

11. WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect / BEL (Professional continental team)

12. Bardiani CSF / ITA (Professional continental team)

13. Androni Simdermec Bottecchia / ITA (Professional continental team)

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