Márton Dina, Alessandro Fancellu and Alejandro Ropero arrive with their options intact at the queen stage
III Tour of Antalya
Stage 2: Kemer-Antalya (165.3 km)
Hail and rain made the most uneven stage of the Tour d’Antalya, also the longest, even harder and the terrain after the climb to Yesilkoy, just over five kilometres at almost 7%, blew up a race that was already nervous from the start. Where the pack broke in two, the leader Mihkel Rähm gave up. Well supported by their companions and supporting each other, Alejandro Ropero, Márton Dina and Alessandro Fancellu were at the head of the race, among the 54 men in command. The Hungarian was the first of the three to do so, 15th, all with the same time as the winner.
The riders were aware of the importance of this stage, with a route that could be at least as decisive as the high finish on Saturday if a series of circumstances were to arise. And they did it all, with the weather doing its thing. With the pack split up, with the leading group constantly opening up an advantage, the proximity to the finish line implemented greater tension between the riders. The state of the road surface, with a lot of water on it, did not pose the best of contexts.
Within the last five kilometers, a fall affected six riders. The guys led by Jesús Hernández solved the incident. And in a sprint through the water, Giovanni Lonardi (Bardiani) imposed his top speed. The bunch of the until now leader lost more than five minutes at the finish line. The Belgian Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), again third in the volata, relieved him of the command of the general. Márton Dina moves up to 13th place, 10 seconds behind and Alessandro Fancellu is now 19th, with the same time lost..
Márton Dina: “It has not been an easy day, at the top of the mountain it has come to snow. Personally I am very satisfied with how we managed the day. My colleagues were incredible once again. I felt really good on the climbs, I think my last training before Antalya was very good. I was comfortable, but also thinking about the climb to Termessos this Saturday”.
Alejandro Ropero: “Today we completed one of those days you will keep on remembering about as the years go by. A very hard day, we finished without a gram of strength. But with the aim to arrive in the front group, without losing time. The intention was to preserve Fancellu’s and Márton’s chances and we managed to keep them intact. We’re very happy to have achieved this. I couldn’t get into the volata because there was a lot of water in the race and when I was on the wheel I could hardly see anything”.
For this Saturday, the stage reigns. A little over a hundred kilometers between Aspendos and the archeological site of Monte Termessos. The great ascent of this Tour of Antalya will again be, as it already happened in 2019, fundamental for the resolution of the final general of the Turkish race. And the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team faces such a decisive day with its main assets in a very interesting situation for offensives and strategies.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)