America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tour of Turkey boosted by five ProTour teams

by Jean-François Quénet

While cycling in the sport's traditional European countries has been complicated this year by political battles, there are big ambitions for the sport in new areas of development. The Presidential Tour of Turkey is one race which has gained more attention with an upgrade to the 2.1 category, luring five ProTour teams for its 44th edition from April 13 to 20. The event was won last year by Bulgarian Ivailo Gabrovski when it was still a 2.2 race.
The Tour of Turkey will feature 25 teams, among them five ProTour teams: Milram, Lampre, Saunier Duval, Silence-Lotto and Astana. The Kazakh team is expected to line up Andreas Klöden, Vladimir Gusev and Tomas Vaitkus. The biggest name on the start list should be Alessandro Petacchi who used to take part – and win most of the stages – in the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt but the historical German race is cancelled this year due to a lack of funds.
The Presidential Tour of Turkey will start on the same day as Paris-Roubaix with a 79km criterium in Istanbul. The riders will then fly to Izmir and ride along the Mediterranean coastal side to Alanya. An extremely scenic route will welcome to the stars of cycling.
The participants:
ProTour Teams: Milram (Ger), Lampre (Ita), Saunier Duval (Spa), Silence-Lotto (Bel), Astana (Lux)
Professional Continental teams: Benfica (Por), Karpin-Galicia (Spa), Mitsubishi-Jartazi (Est), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni (Ven), CSF Group-Navigare (Ita), NGC Medical (Swi), PSK Whirlpool (Cze)
Continental teams: Bourgas (Bul), Team Ista (Ger), Cosmote Kastro (Gre), Atlas-Römers (Swi), Liberty Seguros (Por), Tyrol-Team Radland (Aut), Sparta Praha (Cze), Partizan (Ser), Stegcomputer-CKT (Swi); 4 national teams: Netherlands, Ireland, Turkey, Brisa
The route.
April 13: Criterium Istanbul, 79.2km.
April 14: Izmir-Kusadasi, 132.7km
April 15: Kusadasi-Bodrum, 165.9km
April 16: Bodrum-Marmaris, 166.8km
April 17: Marmaris-Oludeniz, 177.7km
April 18: Kalkan-Finike, 100.1km
April 19: Finike-Antalya, 115.8km
April 20: Antalya-Alanya, 136.6km
Looks like Murat's hopes are dashed! In years past, the overall purse was only about 15,000 Euros. This year, it's ten fold.. and has attracted the ProTour teams to prove it. I've chatted with Joe Papp who won stages there a few years ago.. I reached out to him because I wanted to make a good call about trying to get my ass in there. He said it would be the hardest thing I've ever done but that I'd regret it forever if I didn't try. I agreed.. but that was before I discovered that the 44th edition would include real pro teams. It used to be a bunch of Eastern European and Middle Eastern teams that I believe I could survive racing with..I've raced with the elites and National Team members in Turkey before- kicked all their asses back in 1989 when I was a junior in fact.. Not anymore! They've evolved into quite a force.. or at least they better have if they want to make the time cuts.. Maybe I should just go to Turkey in June for Masters Nationals where I actually have a realistic chance at the podium.

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