Tour of Antalya. 1st stage
Side-Antalya (144.5 km)
Everybody predicted a sprint finish, and at the end in the first stage of Tour of Antalya the sprint arrived. The winner was Matteo Malucelli of Gazprom-Rusvelo, who preceded Mareczko (Alpecin-Fenix) and Karl Lauk (Bingoal). Just behind, for an excellent fourth place, our Giovanni Lonardi who tried to do the encore after the success at the debut in Valencia but had to surrender in the last meters.
The stage was characterized by the strong wind and by a breakaway of five riders exhausted at 10 km from the finish: arrived at the sprint with the group compact, EOLO-KOMETA tried to put Lonardi (stopped by a puncture a few km from the end) in the best conditions to play his cards: “The final – said Lonardi – was a bit chaotic, I knew this arrival and I knew it was a bit difficult to interpret. The Gazprom guys did a great job in front of me to lead the sprint, while behind we struggled to get the best position. We had the wind in our faces, I started with 150 meters to go but on the left they were already gone”. Tomorrow, a stage that Lonardi already won two years ago: “In theory, the stage is more challenging, it will come down to a sprint with a tight group. I’ll try to repeat what I did two years ago”.