- Greipel to contest (even more) stages in Tour of Turkey
- German sprinter has most stage-wins ever in Presidential Tour
- Sagiv back in sprint train: ‘We can be ambitious’
The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey is an eight-day stage race, starting on the 11th in Kapadokya in the middle of the country, and heading west to finish on the 18th in Kusadasi, on the west coast. In those eight days, there is only one mountain-top finish and plenty of opportunities to sprint.
The opening stage is rather hilly, followed by three stages that suit Israel Start-Up Nation’s sprint train very well. Stage 5 will be a day for the climbers. The last three stages are more challenging to control for sprinter teams, as they feature a few climbs along the route.
King of Turkey: Andre Greipel
Andre Greipel sees plenty of chances to hunt for stage wins and is looking forward to the Tour of Turkey. “We have been working together in similar sprint train formations for a few races now. We will never be finished with fine-tuning, but we know what we can expect from each other. In Turkey, we will hopefully have multiple opportunities to contest the sprints.”
The German sprinter is the rider with the biggest number of stage-wins in Turkey. He won 11 stages in seven participations. The last time Greipel participated was in 2016.
Guy Sagiv: ‘Sprint train focused on its goals’
Israeli Guy Sagiv is also making his way to the Tour of Turkey. Sagiv, who was part of the sprint train in last year’s Giro d’Italia (back then also consisting of himself, Zabel, Brändle, and Dowsett), had a little bit of a false start to the season due to a knee injury but is back and ready to rumble.
“With this team going to Turkey, we can be ambitious. Personally, I am happy about being back in the sprint train. Not only because my knee feels better, but also because I have good memories of racing together with the boys. The atmosphere is always good, we are focused on our goals and we aim for the highest results possible.”
First sports director in Turkey, Nicki Sørensen, says that Greipel indeed will be ISN’s first pick for the sprints. “We have a strong team to support him. Sagiv is right when he says that the sprint train is very similar to the one we had in the Giro d’Italia last season.”
Sørensen rounds off: “Back then we saw how well they did the lead-outs. Therefore, our main goal is to get stage wins.”
ISN’s line-up for the Tour of Turkey (11/04 – 18/04):
- Rick Zabel
- Guy Sagiv
- Andre Greipel
- Alex Dowsett
- Davide Cimolai
- Matthias Brändle
- Sebastian Berwick