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"We get the opportunity to race in a friendly atmosphere. It’s a good preparation for the upcoming races, starting with the Giro d’Italia the week after we finish here, and for sure I’m going to try and win a stage or...

Photo: Sirotti






23.04.2016 @ 23:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In the modern history of the 53 year old Presidential Tour of Turkey, which coincides with the race being upgraded to the professional ranks in 2008, André Greipel holds the record for stage wins with the respectable score of ten in six straight participations.

The first of them holds a special place in his memory. “I’ve won a time trial here!”, the German sprinter is proud to recall of his first day of racing in Turkey back in 2010. It was a 5.8km race finishing up at Istanbul's UNESCO-listed Sultanahmet district where stage 1 again finishes this Sunday, April 24. He preceded time trial specialists like his then team-mate Tejay van Garderen at HTC-Columbia and Maciej Bodnar from Poland. “It was a good performance”, he remembered. “There should be more time trials ridden on normal bikes…”



“I like to come back to Turkey”, said Greipel who hasn’t missed any TUR since. “The organization has always been good. We get the opportunity to race in a friendly atmosphere. It’s a good preparation for the upcoming races, starting with the Giro d’Italia the week after we finish here, and for sure I’m going to try and win a stage or more.”

“The parcours has changed a lot this year”, the Lotto-Soudal rider noted, on his arrival in Istanbul on the eve of the race. “Stage 2 looks super hard. I believe there are good roads for cycling in Kapadokya because there’s a famous Gran Fondo in the area. It’s also a different field from previous years and I expect new young sprinters to show what they’re capable of. There’s TV coverage and international media exposure for ambitious riders to make a career out of the Tour of Turkey.”


It’s also a very different season for the 33 year-old from Rostock, who has two victories under his belt so far with two races of the Mallorca challenge in Spain. He had a difficult start with a crash in stage 4 of the Tour of Algarve in Portugal that left him with a fractured rib in February. He couldn’t take part in the Belgian opening races but came back to help his usual right hand man Marcel Sieberg finish seventh in Paris-Roubaix. To him, the TUR means the beginning of a new block of racing that will include the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, although he also has an eye on the World Championships on the flat course in Doha, Qatar, on October 16, which will make for an unusually late end of the season for the sprinters.



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