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 ”Winning the Queen Stage of a national Tour is fantastic! I came close to winning the Queen Stage at  Castilla and Leon against Valverde, but I was caught 400m from the finish. Today I was more cold blooded."

Photo: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes


29.04.2016 @ 23:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jaime Roson (Caja Rural) confirmed his status as one of the future Spanish top climbers by claiming an impressive neo-pro victory in the Tour of Turkey queen stage. Having made a solo move, he was joined by Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) inside the final kilometre but he had enough left in the tank to beat the veteran in a 2-rider sprint on the famous Elmali climb. Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural) finished sixth and took the leader’s jersey after his teammate Pello Bilbao had fallen ill and lost more than 10 minutes.


We have gathered several reactions.


Jaime Roson after breakthrough win: Today I was cold blooded

Despite bad luck on Friday’s Queen Stage of Tour of Turkey, Caja Rural - Seguros RGA still managed to win the stage and keep the overall lead. However, the blue jersey did change hands as José Gonçalves took over the race lead from his teammate Pello Bilbao. Unfortunately, Bilbao was suffering from a stomach bug and with 7 km left, he had to let go of the peloton and keep his own pace towards the finish line.
The rest of the Caja Rural - Seguros RGA riders didn’t let the bad luck get them down.Ricardo Vilela kept a high pace on the final climb, thinning out the peloton significantly, and with less than two kilometers to go, Jaime Rosón attacked and went clear. On the final few hundred meters, Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) joined the 23-year old Spaniard at the front but in the uphill sprint, Rosón turned out to be the strongest and took the first professional win of his career. Gonçalves crossed the line in sixth place, while David Arroyo finished ninth and moved up to second place overall, 18 seconds behind his Portuguese teammate. Lluis Mas is fourth in the general classification and continues to lead the Turkish Beauties sprint competition.  
Jaime Rosón said: "I'm very happy with my first professional victory. The team worked perfectly during the entire stage. On the final climb, two riders attacked. I went after them and then I went solo. I knew that my legs were good and luckily, I managed to win the stage. This is the reward for all my hard training rides in the mountains".


”The plan today was to get into the breakaway to control the race so that we did not have to take on too much responsibility. José Gonçalves, 2nd in GC, got in, forcing CCC to work, while we rode in the group with relative tranquillity.  


”The final climb was very hard. I didn't feel good all day, and the stage started fast, and I've had to work on other days. However, the more I climbed, the better I felt.


”The CCC ride attacked, I chased at top speed. Niemiec then caught me. I tried to wait to see if José [Gonçalves] came across to me., but there wasn't time. Niemiec attacked twice, but I was able to respond and win the stage. 

”Winning the Queen Stage of a national Tour is fantastic! I came close to winning the Queen Stage at  Castilla and Leon against Valverde, but I was caught 400m from the finish. Today I was more cold blooded.  As a team we have two stage wins and a second place, the race lead – it's a great showing.” 

”I've been riding for 15 years, I was Spanish U23 champion last year. My first pro race was the USA Pro-Challenge in Colorado, where I finished 13th.”

Renewed motivation puts Goncalves on track for overall victory in Turkey
José Gonçalves (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) said: “I've worked hard to get into top form in this. But things have never worked out for me. I wanted to ride a good Tirreno-Adriatico, but it didn't happen. I lost my motivation, and my head was not in the right place, but I continued working for other races and now, it's paying off, thanks be to god. I'm super motivated, and I'm going better with each passing day.  

”Pello wasn't feeling good today and, when he was dropped, I was given freedom to try something and gain a bit more time on my direct adversaries. I've climbed better in the Vuelta a España, although I wasn't bad today. Ricardo Vilela did an incredible job for me today, and I couldn't let him down. With 500m to go I could see him but I couldn't get across.


“You only win when you cross the line on the final day. There are two tough stages to go, with climbs, so we'll see how I feel. I think I'll feel OK, but all it takes [to lose a race] is one day of illness, as happened today with Pello. As a team we have good feelings, we're riding well, we have two more days to defend the lead to the end. It won't be easy, but we have a good team.”


Lluis Mas: Our plan was not to fight for the stage win
Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-RGA) added: “I’m happy because this was possibly going to be the hardest stage for us as we knew since last night that Pello Bilbao was sick with a stomach bug. Our first thinking was to not fight for the stage win and monitor the Astana rider [Nikita Stalnov] and Adam Hansen [who had a mechanical in the final ascent]. Jaime [Roson] went to the front in the finale while José [Gonçalves] and David [Arroyo] stayed up there for GC and at the end we have everything, stage win and GC lead. It’s a great day for us despite the suffering.”


Przemyslaw Niemiec: I am in great shape for the Giro

Second placed and Turkish Airlines Red Jersey holder (Mountains) Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) said: “What a pity! I accelerated at the right moment. I thought [Jaime Roson] would be more tired than he effectively was. I fought till the end but I couldn’t get the stage win.


“However, I’m happy to lead the mountains classification. It shows that I’m climbing well and the preparation for the Giro has gone well. I’m satisfied with my results at the TUR so far: a stage win, a second place, a fourth one. After an early part of the season that was so so, I’m in a great shape now.”


Polish climber with breakthrough result in Turkish queen stage

Third placed Pawel Cieslik (Verva-Activejet said): “It was a hard stage and I had sore legs but with 4km to go, I felt much better. I was here to work for our leader Karel Hnik but I happened to be at the front. I’ve liked this mountain very much. It was a good finish for me. I’ve thought I was going to win but it was difficult against Lampre-Merida and Caja Rural, they were very strong.


”However, this is a good result for my team. It’s our first season as a pro continental team. It’s a pity I was sick during the Tour of Catalunya, which was our first wild card in the World Tour, but the Tour of Turkey is the second biggest event we get a chance to take part in so a podium here in the queen stage is very good.”


”Today my task was to join breakaways because I was active in the early kilometers. Unfortunately, this failed, so I focused on protecting our leader Karel Hnik. We waited for the last climb, where everything would be decided. I was riding at the rear end of the group, as I had mixed feelings at the start. When I saw that three riders left, I put everything on one card and went to the front. Behind them, I took off with Niemiec and Karel. He did not feel the best in the end and when I saw that he started to lose ground, I decided to follow the others. The final two kilometers were heavy with the wind, and therefore it felt like forever. I caught my breath after the attack. To fight for the victory is great and I'm very happy with third place.”

Solid team performance by CCC in Turkish queen stage

Jan Hirt finished 5th on the mountain stage of Tour of Turkey, which ended with an uphill finish. Aside from him, Davide Rebellin and Sylwester Szmyd alse made the top 10. 


On a similar stage last year, Davide Rebellin claimed a win and took the overall lead. Since the Italian was out of contention for the final GC, he and the entire CCC Sprandi Polkowice team was hoping for a stage success.


With 5km to go the main group was whittled down to only 23 riders. CCC Sprandi Polkowice was well represented, with Davide Rebellin, Sylwester Szmyd, Jan Hirt and Mateusz Taciak riding in the front. 3 kilometers from the top Hirt accelerated causing even more damage in the field.  In the end, Hirt was 5th, 19 seconds behind and two other riders in orange, Davide Rebellin and Sylwester Szmyd, also hit the top in the top 10 – in 8th and 10th respectively.


Mechanical takes Adam Hansen out of contention in Turkish queen stage

At three kilometres from the finish Adam Hansen was dropped due to mechanical problems. Hansen gains one place and is now fifth.


André Greipel didn’t start in today’s stage with the Giro d’Italia in mind and also Jelle Wallays didn’t start due to illness.


”If something can go wrong for me in this race it does. Every single day it's something... but no way I'm giving in. Tomorrow is another day,” Hansen tweeted.



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