What's Cool In Road Cycling

Presidential Tour of Turkey

Presidential Tour of Turkey – April 27 – May 4.

Mark Cavendish, a superstar in the Tour of Turkey.

Sick after his fifth place in Milan-San Remo on March 23, Mark Cavendish has not raced since. His return to competition is highly anticipated and it will take place in the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

“As everybody knows, my big goal this season is the Tour de France,” said the British champion and former world champion (2011), who will start the Tour in his homeland for the second time after London in 2007. It will be all the more special for Cavendish as his mother Adele was born in Harrogate, the finish of stage 1. The Mannish sprinter, disappointed after winning only two stages in last year’s Tour, decided to change his race schedule and to shun the Giro, opting instead for the Tour of Turkey, the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse.

“His sickness forced us to change our plans,” said Omega Pharma Quick Step team director Rolf Aldag. “We worked out the best possible programme leading up to the Tour de France. Mark has been training in Italy and will go to Turkey with a very strong team.”

As a matter of fact, OPQS are sending an impressive lead-out train to Turkey with Mark Renshaw, Alessandro Petacchi, Gert Steegmans, Gianni Meersman and Iljo Keisse!

Three of them are former stage winners on the TUR – Keisse, Petacchi et Renshaw. But for the Australian, winner of a stage on the national ANZAC day two years ago, a repeat is impossible this year because the race starts two days after the celebrations and also because he insisted it would be “everything for Cav” this time.

Renshaw’s return as the last lead-out man in his team is one of Cavendish’s reasons to be optimistic about his chances to claim back his status as the man who won an average of five stages per Tour.

“We’re currently working on getting the train organised,” said Renshaw.

“All the riders for the Tour have not yet been named. Matteo Trentin can also be involved in the preparation of sprints and will join us at the Tour of California. In any case, our team looks impressive on paper. We only need to do some fine-tuning in race conditions. In this perspective, the Tour of Turkey comes just at the right time of the season. The organisation keeps improving every year and we’ll have a chance to battle it out with the other sprinters teams at a huge level with guys like Andre Greipel, Theo Bos, Andrea Guardini, Francesco Chicchi, Aidis Kruopis or Leigh Howard…”

“I don’t know exactly what level of form Mark is in after his break but I know for sure he’s motivated ” Renshaw warned.
“For us, to enjoy the presence of such a prestigious champion as Mark Cavendish on the 50th birthday of the Tour of Turkey is a fine present,” said Emin Müftuoglü, president of the Turkish Cycling Federation.

“It’s an honour and a sign of the increasing trust the cycling world shows towards our event,” he added.

Don’t miss the start of the Manx Express on April 27 in Alanya!

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