Sam Bennett claims victory on Tour of Turkey opener
The 55th edition of the Presidential Tour of Turkey kicked off today with a 156km flat stage from Istanbul to Tekirdag. BORA – hansgrohe arrived with a strong team in Turkey around Sam Bennett, who won three stages in last year’s edition. But also the lead-out was particularly strong with the team’s latest signing Shane Archbold next to Baska, Pfingsten, Pöstlberger and Schwarzmann. For the GC the German team brought Austrian Felix Großschartner, who showed already a strong performance in this year’s Paris-Nice. After some kilometres of racing, a group of six riders built today’s breakaway. The escapees enjoyed a gap of more than two minutes, while BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the peloton and took control over the pace in the bunch. As expected, the peloton closed the gap shortly before the finale, and the sprinter teams started their lead-outs. BORA – hansgrohe did a stellar job to deliver Sam Bennett into a perfect position for the last kilometre. On the final stretch on a wide-open road along the coast, the Irish sprinter remained calm when sitting on the wheel of his opponents, before kicking off his sprint on the final metres. With no doubt the fastest today, BORA – hansgrohe’s sprinter flew to glory and took his eighth stage win in Turkey. By taking the Tour of Turkey opener, Bennett now also leads in the overall ranking and in the points classification.
01 S. Bennett 3:32:34
02 F. Jakobsen +0:00
03 C. Ewan +0:00
From the Finish Line
„I am so happy taking the opener here in Turkey again. I really like this country and I think the country likes me as well. The guys did an amazing job today, they pulled the whole day and delivered me perfectly. They take, as always, a huge part in today’s result. In the finale, I stayed on the wheel of the Deceuninck- Quick Step guys and first I thought it might be difficult today, but then I kicked off my sprint and had the highest speed. It always feels good finishing off a great teamwork.” – Sam Bennett
“We pulled right after the start together with other teams to give the escapees not too much space. Especially Michael Schwarzmann did a great job and pulled hard to close the gap. In the finale, our plan worked out perfectly, the guys brought Sam into position and he finished the great teamwork with a win off. Therefore, of course we are more than happy.” – André Schulze, Sports Director