Racing in Turkey is racing in good circumstances. The hotels are fine, the weather is nice, the racing is good, and it is – most importantly – an eight-day stage race, which can be the ideal training ground for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in three weeks.
For climbers, the eight stages of the Tour of Turkey can be good endurance training for the Giro. For sprinters, the Tour of Turkey is particularly interesting because it has many flat stages.
Finetuning the train
“There are a lot of chances to practice the sprint,” performance coach Greg Henderson says. “There are five stages that surely end in a bunch sprint. We can learn from one stage, implement new tactics in another one, and develop the best possible setup for our sprint throughout this week of racing.”
Alex Dowsett, an essential asset in IPT’s sprint train, agrees with Henderson. He says that a team needs to practice numerous times to optimize the train. “Even though some of us have been racing together for several years now, we make small changes every year.”
He gives an example: “Last year, we had Davide Cimolai. He left this year. So we need to back him up. I now have a different role on the train. I moved up one position to the final, and I am now the second-last rider before the sprinter. That is a different role in a different part of the race and requires adjustments.”
Nizzolo for Einhorn
A race like the Tour of Turkey is, for that reason, ideal. The experience of riding together with teammates and the multiple mass sprint finishes allows Israel – Premier Tech to further develop its tactics for flat stages.
In Turkey, Itamar Einhorn is the designated sprinter, while in the Giro d’Italia, Giacomo Nizzolo will be the last rider in the sprint train. Nizzolo, however, is now recovered from his wrist injury and starts in La Flèche Brabançonne. He will next join the sprint train in Eschborn-Frankfurt, on the first of May.