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"I didn’t have to do anything with such an extraordinary team around me. It’s incredible. It’s exactly what Patrick Lefevere was expecting when he put that team together. I’m super happy," Cavendish says

Photo: Tour of Turkey / Mario Stiehl

MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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TOUR OF TURKEY

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30.04.2014 @ 22:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Heading into the season, Omega Pharma-Quick Step bolstered their lead-out train significantly and after a slow start, things are starting to come around from the Belgian team. Today they delivered Mark Cavendish perfectly to his third win at the Tour of Turkey and the Brit was full of praise for the team, saying that today's stage shows just why team manager Patrick Lefevere signed riders like Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi.

 

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish finished off a textbook leadout at 124.2km Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Wednesday.

Despite chaos that included a race neutralization due to a peloton crash in rainy conditions, OPQS maintained composure and placed themselves perfectly on the front with 5km to go. There was a battle for position on the descent following a final climb, and OPQS won the battle with five riders in front of the Manx Missile as they headed toward the sprint.

OPQS was so dominant in their leadout that they never lost the front position, and even had as many as four riders still in front of the British Champion with 1km to go. Mark Renshaw then led Cavendish to inside the 100m to go mark before launching him. Cavendish — wearing the points jersey — won by more than a bike length, with Renshaw placing 3rd behind Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida).

Cavendish has won three stages at Tour of Turkey, and this is the 28th victory, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2014. 

"The guys were absolutely perfect again today," Cavendish said. "They were perfect the entire day, not just in the leadout. It's nice to have a team around me at this race where every guy is riding incredible.

 

"They never left my side. Even on the last climb it was like riding in a bubble. I was surrounded by OPQS protecting me and guiding me. We got to the front just before the bottom of the climb and we kept the control until the sprint. They were phenomenal.

 

"The leadout was just another example of the perfect job by the guys. Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw were super fast and they delivered me in the best position to launch the sprint.

 

"I would also like to congratulate the race commissaires and the organizers for the fact that they neutralized the race. It's nice to see a race choose the safety of the riders as the top priority. We didn't race for about 10 kilometers and then we started again.

 

"When they neutralized the race it was difficult to ride and handle the bike, it was like riding on marbles. So, the right decision was made without a doubt.

 

"Anyways the race got back and we didn’t know if it was going to rain. We said we’d ride and see if it was dangerous and treacherous in the finale. It was OK in the end.

 

"The team stayed with me in the final climb and in the sprint I didn’t have to do anything with such an extraordinary team around me. It’s incredible. It’s exactly what Patrick Lefevere was expecting when he put that team together. I’m super happy.

 

"It was perfect to the point that I only had to pass Mark (Renshaw) with 100 metres to go. I could not accelerate any more. In Tirreno, a crash marked the finale or it would have been exactly the same. It showed that Tirreno-Adriatico was not just a fluke if I won by such a margin, it was the strength of the guys.

 

"We’ve got a strength of lead-out specialists throughout the team not like Lotto or Giant Shimano have. It works with these guys who have this desire to win and sprint as fast as they can and when it comes together it’s a fearful thing to be behind.

 

"When it works as it does, it’s emotional to see. It’s obvious it’s coming together. When you win in that fashion, there’s nothing more you can say, We can’t say a word about what went wrong today because it was 100 pc perfect in my opinion."

 

Asked about whether anyone can beat him in the race, he pointed to a former teammate as a possible rival.

 

"Well, Andre Greipel has not been sprinting this week. So we don’t know. He’s still working on his form. I’ll look forward to that in the Tour de France."

 

To get to today's finish, Cavendish had to overcome a tough climb but he was not surprised to make it.

 

"I like climbing. It’s my physiological make. Considering my physiological make, I climb fairly well. I won Milan-San Remo, I completed several Tours de France. It would be disrespectful to think that I don’t train on climbs. I do quite the opposite. I’m not hat bad. It’s just that when I get dropped on a climb, the camera’s on me, not on the other 40 guys dropped too.

 
"Tomorrow is another stage for the sprinters. Even if the beginning is a bit difficult we will see what can happen with our team riding so strong."

 

"I knew the roads of today’s stage but they were extremely slippery today," Renshaw said. "A lot of guys were crashing in front of us so we had to not brake.

 

"Other than that, the scenario was what we expected this morning. We waited as long as we could to bring the break back. We wanted to stay together with Cav’.

 

"We went to the front quite early to avoid any trouble. We were close to make a 1-2 at the end. It’s always nice to be 1-2 but I’m just happy to keep winning with Cav’.”

 

Today Cavendish had spoken with the race commissaires on behalf of the entire peloton and he got plenty of praise from the organizers.

 

“I first want to congratulate Mark Cavendish for being such a great third time winner for the 50th anniversary of the Tour of Turkey," Race director Abdurrahman Açikalin said. "Secondly on behalf of the organising committee and myself the race director, I really want to give special thanks to him, he behaved exceptionally, he really helped us a lot to coordinate this temporary chaotic situation therefore we are greatly thankful to him.”

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