The Tour of Antalya, a good challenge to take a step forward in qualifying ambitions
III Tour of Antalya
From 20 to 23 February
Three editions of the race, three presences of the continental structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation. The Tour de Antalya is coming up, a commitment that is certainly far away in geographical terms, but in terms of soul it awakens a lot of closeness within the team. Here, on Turkish soil, the team’s first victory since its birth arrived, that sprint by Matteo Moschetti on the first day, which would be joined by another success on the final day. And here too, a year ago, the then Kometa Cycling Team caressed a new success and the podium in the hands of Juan Pedro López.
That second place of López happened in the ascent to the archaeological site of Termessos and the enclave of Monte Termessos will be fundamental again in the 2020 edition, since the third stage will conclude in its summit, at 876 meters of altitude. Given the importance of the climb in the context of the race, this stage will be the key one.
For the Kometa-Xstra, the Tour of Antalya is a competition in which you can really come with much more ambition. Although the event, which is part of the Europe Tour, has five professional continental formations (now called UCI ProTeams from this year) and a WorldTour team (Israel Start Up Nation), it is the first race of the year in which most of the competitors are in the continental category (23 of the 29 formations competing, in fact).
Hungary’s Márton Dina, Denmark’s Mathias Larsen, Portugal’s Daniel Viegas, Spain’s Alejandro Ropero and Italy’s Alessandro Fancellu and Antonio Puppio will make up the ‘sextet’ that the Pinto-based team will take part in. “After the fall in Valencia I’m looking forward to this race even more; I started riding my bike two days after the blow,” explains Ropero. “I’m 100% focused on Antalya. I’ve been able to recover a few days after the efforts in Valencia and I’ve done good and demanding training as well. I felt very good both in Mallorca and Valencia and I’m in good condition to fight for a good result in Antalya. This is a very good race for us, it can show us what we are capable of. We are going to fight for the win. Winning any race is always difficult, but in the team we are very strong and we will fight for everything”, says Márton Dina.
After his debut in the Tour of Murcia, with very good sensations in the second stage, the Tour of Antalya will be the second commitment of the season for the Italian Alessandro Fancellu: “This first impact with the professional bunch was hard but beautiful. I managed to crown the long climb to the Collado Bermejo far enough in front of me and I would be 20th or so, although I probably started a little behind. I was impressed by the speed, especially downhill. I am quite satisfied with my debut. Now in Antalya I hope to get a good result in the general classification, as the overall level is not as high as in Murcia. The condition is still not the best after the hand injury, but I am recovering well and I hope to be able to play a leading role in Antalya.
20 February: Antalya-Antalya, 149.2 km.
21 February: Kemer-Antalya, 165.3 km.
22 February: Aspendos-Termessos, 101.6 km.
23 February: Side-Antalya, 136.8 km.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)