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"Everything was going wrong, falls, injuries, we would get close and then get nowhere, but we’ve managed to turn that negative dynamic around. Our efforts and hard work have proven to be worthy of this winning streak."




02.05.2015 @ 01:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) wins the 6th stage of the Tour of Turkey. The Basque rider takes home his second triumph for the year, his third as a professional and the third for the team in 2015. In a frenetic high-altitude finish, Bilbao proved his talent yet again in order to obtain victory. Heiner Parra finished in third place. Lluis Más was 8th and Fabricio Ferrari was 9th. With these four top 10 positions, the team’s 2015 top 10 tally now sits at 30.

Pello Bilbao, the Tour of Turkey stage winner, commented at the end of the race: “I was very calm and level-headed until Miguel Ángel [Lopez] pushed us to the limit, we had a good group for the finale and the race was under control. Lluis and Heiner set a great pace for the end. Then I took off and caught up to Miguel Ángel. I tested him just in case, although I was thinking about the sprint, seeing as he responded I decided to take a deep breath and keep my strength to prepare for the sprint.


"Today we came here with a clear strategy to do a good final climb. We knew that the team was  in a really good moment, and in the past couple of stages we saw that in the climbs we were very strong. We wanted to use that power of the team to do a good job today. They guys were incredible and I won the stage, finally.


"My initial intention was to do a good job in the GC, but in the 3rd stage, I lost all my chances of doing so, so my thoughts turned to this stage. We have been able to do a good job today and  I’m happy now. In the third stage,  I was really sad because I knew I had a great opportunity to do a good job in GC, but now I’ve forgotten all about it. 


This is an important victory for Bilbao: “This is one of the most valued stages in Turkey and we managed to win it, it’s so difficult to win that it’s almost funny that we managed to do so twice in a row [sprinter Carlos Barbero was second yesterday]. Everything was going wrong, falls, injuries, we would get close and then get nowhere, but we’ve managed to turn that negative dynamic around. Our efforts and hard work have proven to be worthy of this winning streak, the way we were going it was only a matter of time before victory came. The squad competing in Turkey, as well as the one in Asturias and in Italy, we are proving that we are in good form. For a small team such as ours it is complicated to fight on two fronts at once and, especially, to manage to win."

Following a complicated start to the Tour “with flat tyres and mishaps that took us out of the running for the general classification, we have managed to turn things around, what more could we ask of this stage, victory, 4 riders among the top 10, leaders in the team classification, Lluis with the sprints… we have more than made up for our bad beginning”, affirms Bilbao.

Regarding whether they are content with those victories, Bilbao categorically denies it: “we won’t settle for just these victories, now that things are going well we have to make the most of this moment and keep fighting to win while enjoying ourselves at the same time. We will not settle, we still have two more stages in Turkey and in Asturias Tuxurruka has to defend the number 1 bib so we will keep on trying and we will concentrate on doing a good job.


"I think the team can do well tomorrow. We have a good opportunity with Carlos Barbero. Yesterday he showed that he is in good form. We’ll try to do a good job with him, and if he can’t get over the climb, then I’ll have a go myself. It could be another opportunity for me. 


"Right now, I’m very happy with this team. They give me an opportunity when my previous team [Euskaltel]  finished, and right now I’m only thinking of doing a great job. I have good opportunities, a good calendar, to show myself. Later on, maybe in the Vuelta or some other race, I’ll worry about what I’m going to do next year."


"I’m very happy," Paara said. "The team worked spectacularly well with all the team. The idea was to win the stage, either with Pello or with me. It turned out to be with Pello, and the team worked hard for him to win the stage. I held on for third place, and I’m happy with my race."


"Today was the worst of the 8 days at the Tour of Turkey.... but also the best," Mas said. "The worst because it was long, endless and boring. The shorter a bike race is, the more exciting, for the riders and the public. I fear that people will have been bored in front of the TV, until the final part of the stage.


"For us, it was exceptionally good. In the previous stages, we learned that the whole Caja Rural - RGA team was going well. Not a single one of us dropped out of the leading group.  We decided to stay together int he same what on today's climb up to Selçcuk. We wanted to put Pello Bilbao in orbit. We attacked the climb the way you have to.


"I'm very happy with what we have done today, and also to retain my White Jersey. I had decided to watch only Federico Zurlo, who is my closest rival. Since he didn't get into the breakaway, I had a tranquil day."



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