Juan Pedro López, close to the first victory of the season in the mountain of Termessos
2nd Tour of Antalya
Stage 3: Perge-Termessos (91.8 km)
The Sevillian Juan Pedro López nearly won the first victory of the season for the continental Kometa Cycling Team after finishing second in the queen stage of the Turkish Tour of Antalya, a short fraction of 91.8 kilometres, the end of which was located near the archaeological site of Termessos after a climb of just under nine kilometres. A spectacular ascent of the Andalusian.
López, accompanied by the Alicante veteran Rubén Plaza, finished 8 seconds behind the Polish Szymon Rekita, winner of this third day and new leader of a race in which he keeps 12 on the Lebrija rider, who with an improvement of 65 positions in the classification ascends to fourth place, just one second from the third podium draw. Rekita was one of the 22 riders who escaped in the early stages of the day, a large escape where the leader was until this Saturday and his predecessor (the Dutch Bas Van der Kooij and Mathieu Van der Poel, respectively) and in which the Kometa Cycling Team had the presence of Diego Pablo Sevilla.
On a day when the rain was quite unpleasant, the 22 riders would run with an oscillating advantage around the minute, with a pulse against the pack. With thirty seconds between the head of the race and the main group, Sevilla has been taken off the hook to collaborate with his team mates in reducing to the maximum the disadvantage facing the final climb.
“The breakaway went in the third category summit that was at the beginning. I was there, but I didn’t catch it. Already in the final climb Rekita would attack about five kilometers from the end or so. It was the only one I couldn’t catch. But going up I had very good feelings and I felt very good”, explains López.
Diego Pablo Sevilla, present during the day’s breakaway: “It has been a very fun stage and despite the rain I enjoyed it like a dwarf from the beginning. There was a moment when I didn’t know what to do, because we wanted to race the stage with Juanpe and Michel, but all the strong teams had put several riders in front. I chose to go to the wheel and wait and before the pass I let myself fall, when they sang half a minute ahead between the groups, and I emptied myself to cut down on time before the pass started”.
Stefano Oldani, eighth at 21 seconds from the winner, and Michel Ries, fifteenth at 33, joined the party of a great group performance of the riders of the Kometa Cycling Team, triumphant by squads of the day and now second in this always prestigious general.
The Tour of Antalya ends this Sunday with a 158-kilometre stage between Side and Antalya, whose profile invites us to think about the irruption of one or the other breakaway and the outcome of the sprint. The Italian Matteo Gazzoli, who did not take the start this Saturday as a consequence of the discomfort of the fall in which he was involved on Friday, will not be able to get involved.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)