56th Presidential Tour of Turkey
From 11 to 18 April
On the Anatolian peninsula, the longest stage race faced to date by the Contador Foundation ProTeam. Compared to the seven stages of the Tirreno Adriatico, a WorldTour event, eight are the days proposed by the Turkish race, once also a WorldTour event and now the next challenge where the team goes in search of opening the victories locker.
The Spaniard Diego Pablo Sevilla and the Italians Vincenzo Albanese, Manuel Belletti, Mattia Frapporti, Francesco Gavazzi, Samuele Rivi and Luca Wackermann compose the seven with which the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team will take part. A very powerful formation for the search of the breakaways and for the fight for the massive arrivals. The men in blue, in principle, are not involved in the fight for the final turquoise jersey. Up to four riders have experience in the race.
Among them, Manuel Belletti, who returns to competition after his crash in Tirreno Adriatico and the recovery from his injuries, stands out. Belletti has competed in the big race of Turkey in as many as four editions (2011, 2015, 2016, 2017), won a stage in 2011 and has come close to victory on several other occasions. Wackermann, Gavazzi, Frapporti and Albanese have also competed in this race.
“I feel very well, recovered from the crash and with a good feeling. For Turkey the ambition is total, to do well and get some results. It is a race that in the past has given me beautiful days of competition and in which I also won a stage in a finish that there is also this year, in Marmaris. We have a strong team to work with and to open the way in the finishes and of course I am confident that I can make good sprints”.
Given the layout, without a time trial and with several broken stages, it will be the stage with a high finish that will decide the overall. The Göğübeli Geçidi (1860 metres), a 12.1 km climb at 6.7% has become the orographic reference of the Turkish race. The most mediatic mountain proposal that the Taurus Mountains Massif brings to universal cycling.
Diego Pablo Sevilla: “I’m very motivated, I’m looking forward to the start of the race. I haven’t raced much, but I’ve worked well at altitude. In the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain it’s true that the final result doesn’t reflect much, but the sensations after a time without competing were very good and I’m optimistic that in Turkey I’ll be able to see that work better. We have a good team. Riders like Gavazzi and Wackermann will have more days of competition here, which will allow them to grow, and Belletti is a rider who always has a chance. We are all looking forward to our first victory, I think we have the team for it and Turkey could be the place. Of course we will do our best to make it happen”.
Jesús Hernández, sporting director: “Our mentality as a team is to go to every race to give the maximum, without looking at future commitments. Every day of competition is unique and unrepeatable. The Tour of Turkey has a very interesting route, with days very focused on a mass finish and other days in which it is very possible that the breakaway could arrive, even on the mountain day. We are travelling with a very hard-fighting ‘seven’. We don’t have a name of our own to get involved in looking for a good overall”.
April 11: Nevşehir – Ürgüp (167.3 km).
12th April: Konya – Konya (144.9 km).
13th April: Beysehir – Alanya (212.6 km).
14th April: Alanya – Kemer (184.4 km).
April 15: Kemer – Göğübeli / Elmali (160.3 km).
16th April: Fethiye – Marmaris (129.1 km).
17 April: Marmaris – Turgutreis (180 km).
18 April: Bodrum – Kusadasi (160.3 km).