III Tour of Antalya
Stage 3: Aspendos – Monte Termessos
Italian Alessandro Fancellu left the queen stage of the Tour of Antalya in third place in the provisional general classification after finishing fourth on a day with a high finish where he fought for the partial victory until the end. The victory went to Austrian veteran Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr-Simplon), a very experienced World Tour rider, while just a second behind Fancellu came alongside Switzerland’s Matteo Badilatti (Israel) and Britain’s Max Stedman (Canyon). Due to the bonuses Stedman is the new leader of the race, with two seconds over Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen) and four seconds over the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team rider.
The Termessos stage didn’t disappoint. Disputed at a very high speed, it demanded the maximum attention to all the teams with aspirations to avoid scares with mechanical incidents, Fancellu himself suffered a puncture 40 kilometers from the finish, or escapes out of control. A breakaway of four riders formed in the first third of the stage (Martins Pluto, Maxime de Poorter, Viktor Filutás, Yauhen Sobal) and he rode in the lead until the final climb.
On the way up to Termessos, the adventure of the escape ended and the tension of the many interests at stake unfolded. The leader of the race, the Italian Giovanni Lonardi, was able to resist in the leading group for a good part of the climb, because after a very violent start the pace slowed down quite a lot. It was the moment when Kometa-Xstra selected the race very much, the genesis of the four cyclists who arrived in the lead. It would be in the final part of this mountain, 9.2 kilometers of route to an average slope close to 6% and ramps over 10% in its first part, when Zoidl moved and tried to neutralize the gap Badilatti, Stedman and Fancellu. The Hungarian Márton Dina would arrive a little further back, in a first chasing group.
Alessandro Fancellu: “It was a good day for the team. We’ve come close to achieving important things, but we’re going to keep trying until the end. At the beginning of the port, Vini Zabú-KTM was pulling very hard, at which time Ropero, Márton and I were shooting. Then the pace dropped a lot, we were riding a lot of riders there and we wanted to make the race harder. It wasn’t the best thing for us to get so many people there, so we got into it, without looking back. After five minutes we looked and we saw the pack very cut off. I wasn’t going to stop, if they want to catch us. In the platoon, some runners started and four of us joined in front. Badilatti started, and I was able to close that gap, but I no longer had the legs to follow Zoidl when he accelerated within the last kilometer”.
The Tour of Antalya concludes this Sunday with a 136.8-kilometer stage that will connect Side and Antalya. Nothing is decided until the last finish line.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)