photo credit @ Tour of Turkey
Manxman is first Turquoise Jersey of race
Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) won the opening stage of this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey today, after beating Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEdge) and Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) in a hotly contested sprint finish – to take hold of the leader’s Turquoise Jersey.
“Just to stop, reset it, and get going again was quite nice so I don’t think I’m in as good condition as I could have been but I’m definitely happy with where I’m at, I’m happy with the strong team Etixx-QuickStep have brought here.”
Today’s 145 kilometer stage Alanya and back to Alanya, saw a small breakaway group containing Mario Costa (Lampre-Merida), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Luis Mas (Caja Rural, Adam Phelan (Drapac) and Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare), get underway during the first 10 kilometers.
From there, the escapees built up a sizable of advantage of 3:35 over the peloton, while Lotto Soudal, Etixx-QuickStep and Torku Seker Sport led the chase back in the main field.
However, the quintet was caught during the final 20 kilometers, thus setting the stage for each team’s lead-put train to usher their respective sprinters into position – for what inevitably came down to a sprint finale.
With three of his teammates at his side, Cavendish found himself at the front of the race with under five kilometers to go. From there, the Manx Missile was moved into perfect position to unleash one of his signature accelerations – to nix Ewan and Ruffoni on the line.
Runner-up Ewan was pleased with his performance despite missing out on the stage win by such a narrow margin.
“It feels a little bit surreal. It’s kind of weird racing him [Cavendish] I guess, always watching him growing up and now actually racing him. And not just racing with him but being right up there against him – it’s pretty surreal feeling,” he said.
“If I had a better run I think could almost beat him. I came from way too far back and it was really close on the line so I don’t know. Maybe if I got a better run or came off his wheel then maybe I could have come a bit closer but obviously it’s good for confidence knowing I’m that close to him – it’s not such a big distance.”
photo credit @ Twitter
Stage 1 Results
GBR 1 CAVENDISH, Mark (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 3:17:58
AUS 2 EWAN, Caleb (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ITA 3 RUFFONI, Nicola (BARDIANI CSF)
ITA 4 MODOLO, Sacha (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
NED 5 BOS, Theo (MTN – QHUBEKA)
SVK 6 KOLÁR, Michal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
ITA 7 RATTO, Daniele (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
GER 8 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL)
AUS 9 JONES, Brenton (DRAPAC)
ITA 10 MARECZKO, Jakub (SOUTHEAST)
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