III Tour of Antalya
Stage 4: Side-Antalya (136.8 km)

The differences were small, but they prevailed. Italian Alessandro Fancellu finally finished third overall in the Tour d’Antalya. Fancellu, 19 years old, passed a final stage in which, on the one hand, the Luxembourger Arthur Kluckers temporarily raised some questions for the general and, on the other hand, he managed to save a tremendous fall that took place in the final straight; a throw where they touched the front wheel.

The last stage of the Turkish race began with the doubt of whether anyone could unseat the British Maximilian Stedman (Canyon) from the lead. That uncertainty was fed by Kluckers (Leopard Pro Cycling), who joined in midway through the day in a breakaway with five other riders and became the new provisional leader with almost a minute’s lead over Stedman. The Luxembourger had saved the climb to Monte Termessos located at 36 seconds in the general classification.

The options of a volata revived the rhythm of a peloton with many interests and with 25 kilometres to go the breakaway was already history. Beyond some later attempts, with the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team contributing its share of calm in a zone of slopes, the control of several formations invited to think about a resolution to the sprint. The victory was for the Belgian Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix). Alessandro Fancellu crossed the finish line among the first of the peloton and saved the day and the podium. The final general was Max Stedman’s bag, with Belgian Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen) in second place and the young Lombard from Kometa-Xstra in third. “The team has done a great job to secure this podium,” said Antonio Pupppio.

Jesús Hernández, director of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team: “The Tour of Antalya was the first race in which we really competed against teams of our level and the balance of these four days is very good. We have been protagonists of a race in which we have come to fight for the overall and where we have fought bad luck. Perhaps we lacked a greater presence in the sprints, but there was a lot of competition. Fancellu’s podium is what they taste of victory, because these races are very complex and because Alessandro is still a 19 year old boy who has rubbed shoulders with much older people and has only been competing in the category for five days. There were a lot of time bonuses at stake and many people added time in the first two stages, which has also influenced Fancellu’s failure to finish even second or even first”.

(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
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