Richeze - Good To Win For A Third Time

09 October 2018 11:36
Max Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) won a dramatic stage on the opening day of the 54th Presidential Tour of Turkey, team years after his first win here. But in was in dramatic circumstances on a day that also saw his team mate Fernando Gaviria crash out of the race.  All photography, credit Brian Hodes / VeloImagesIt was a day of mixed fortunes for Quick-Step Floors as their star man (Ricardo Gaviria) was prevented from contesting the final sprint finish when he crashed with 4km to go. Despite finishing the stage 4mins 55secs down in last place, he was taken to hospital afterwards, where it was then confirmed he will take no further part in this year's race.  It is a bitter blow to Quick-Step Floors but also to the TUR who will miss seeing one of the world's finest sprinters in Turkey this year.    Richeze finished ahead of 41 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hasgrohe) and Jeremy Drucker (BMC) seizing on the gap round the final bend to take victory on a dramatic finale to the first day of action in Turkey. Richeze's victory also means he is the race leader in both the Spor Toto Turquoise jersey and the Salcano Green Jersey as points classification leader.   All photography, credit Brian Hodes / VeloImagesTurkish Airlines Stage 1 Konya - Konya (150 km) summary result:    1. 56 Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) in 3hrs 29m 04s 2. 41 Sam Bennett(Bora-Hansgrohe) 3. 34 Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing)  Spor Toto Turquoise jersey summary standings 1. 56 Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) 2. 41 Sam Bennett(Bora-Hansgrohe) 3. 34 Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing)JerseysSpor Toto Turquoise jersey: overall race leader: 56 Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors)Turkish Airlines Red Jersey: mountain classification leader: 137 Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias)Turkey Home White Jersey: Beauties of Turkey classification leader: Onur Belkan (Turkish National Team)Salcano Green Jersey: points classification leader: 56 Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors)All photography, credit Brian Hodes / VeloImagesRider reaction: 56 Maximiliano Richezewinner, Turkish Airlines Konya-Konya stage 1, and Spor Toto Turquoise jersey (overall race leader):“It feels really good to win here for a third time. I love this country and we have a really strong team.  Today was hard because the race was quite hilly at times but we (Quick-Step Floors) did really well and I thought we controlled the race. I obviously wasn’t expecting today that I would be the one who would be going for the win but of course we had the crash with Fernando (Gaviria) and Hodeg lost my wheel so we had to adjust. “We shifted plans to Alvaro (Hodeg) but he had some problems handling his bike in the last corner and then lost a few metres. It wasn't our plan but then I heard on the radio 'full gas, full gas!' and I kept going until the finish.“For sure we will look to see what we can do in the enxt few stages and hopefully Fernando (Gaviria) is ok.”Sam Bennett finished second in the stage: “The corners were super slippery in the last 15km I lost my bike a few times when I slipped but I caught it a few times luckily enough. Of course, I wanted to be in a good position, but I didn’t want to take too many risks because there’s still five more stages to go. The last corner I was in a good enough position and the team did a great job getting me there and controlling the front of the race ll day with Quick-Step. “The last corner I knew I was going in too hot so I backed off. I could see the guys in front of me and I wanted to get around the two Quick-Step guys at the front and eventually went around them. Then at the same moment BMC came by so I got in their slipstream and I went round the back but eased my effort  because I knew even if I got round Richeze, I wasn’t going to hold off the other Quick-Step rider on my wheel."Jempy Drucker (BMC) finished third in the stage: ““Quick-Step played it pretty smart in the final turn. They let a gap go. I came a bit from behind and then I put all my cards on the table to try and get back but unfortunately it was not enough. There’s nothing I could really have done differently. I did the best I could and I have no regrets. I have a few chances here so I’m going to try to be always up there. The field of sprinters is pretty strong here, and I will try to do my best and hope to have another good result over the next few days.” 137 Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias) Turkish Airlines Red Jersey (mountain classification leader) said: “It’s a very difficult race. The World Tour teams controlled the breakaway and we were only a small group of five at the front. We didn’t have a chance to make it which is a shame because we all worked hard. I’m happy with the red jersey. Tomorrow will be another chance and I want to defend this jersey.” Race report 138 starters rolled out from the start line in Konya as the 54th Presidential Tour of Turkey got underway at 10am local time. There were attacks straight out of the neutralised zone and almost immediately a five-man early breakaway formed and by 18km they had built up a lead of 2 minutes 11 seconds.     Euskadi Basque Country – Murias had two riders up front in 131 Ander Barrenetxea and 137 Beñat Txoperena and they were joined by 167 Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), 196 Feritcan Samli (Turkish National Team) and 96 Nicolas Sessler (Burgos – BH).    At 35.2km the first Intermediate sprint (Salcano Green Jersey competition) took place: 1. (5 pts, 3 secs) 167 Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) 2. (3 pts, 2 secs) 196 Feritcan Samli (Turkish National Team) 3. (1 pt, 1 sec) 96 Nicolas Sessler (Burgos – BH) Their lead was soon coming down and by 40km the peloton were already reducing the leaders advantage as the gap closed to 1 minute 50 seconds. By km 47 it was 1 minute 40 seconds and by km 58, at the foot of the first climb of the day, it was just 1 minute 30 seconds. 137 Beñat Txoperena then attempted to move away from the group to ensure he passed over the first mountain climb of the day, taking the maximum points in the King of the Mountains (Turkish Airlines Red Jersey) competition.    At km 60.4: Category 2 climb (Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition): 1. (5 pts)137 Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias) 2. (3 pts) 196 Feritcan Samli (Turkish National Team) 3. (2 pts) 167 Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) 4. (1 pts) 96 Nicolas Sessler (Burgos – BH) The five leaders maintained their lead and with 60km still to race, their advantage was tinkering around the 1 minute mark as the second climb of the day approached. Meanwhile, the peloton was controlling the front of the bunch as Quick-Step Floors and BORA – Hansgrohe looked determined to ensure that their sprinters would be in contention for the stage win.   Approaching the top of the third categorised climb, Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias) extended his early lead in the King of the Mountains competition as he picked up all three points on the final climb of the day meaning he would end day 1 of the race in the red jersey.    All photography, credit Brian Hodes / VeloImagesAt km 108.2: Category 3 climb (Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition): 1. (3 pts) 137 Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias) 2. (2 pts) 167 Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) 3. (1 pts) 196 Feritcan Samli (Turkish National Team)  With just 32km left to race, the Turkish National team went on the offensive for the on looking crowd and with Feritcan Samli already up front in the break, it was his team mate Muhammed Atalay who tried to bridge to the lead group. He opened up a little gap from the front   but it was short lived and despite his best efforts he was reeled back in – another sign of intent from the chasing pack. With 22km it was Quickstep-Floors who stepped it up a notch yet again with Iljo Keisse pushing hard on the front of the train to ensure they continued to reduce their arrears and with 20km to go, the leading group only had a slight 18 second advantage.  Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias) and 196 Feritcan Samli (Turkish National Team) attempted to lead off the front of the breakaway group, who with just 15km to go only had a 16 second advantage. But 5km down the road their day was over and after leading the race for 127km, everyone was back together.  At km 137.5: “Beauties of Turkey” (Turkey at Home White Jersey competition) 1. (3 pts) 194 Onur Alkan (Turkish national team) 2. (2 pts) 53 Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) 3. (1 pts) 51 Tim Declercq (Quick-Step Floors) 96 Diego Rubio (Burgos – BH) made a dash after the Beauties of Turkey sprint and briefly held a lead of around 8 seconds for about 1km but it was once again in vain for any last minute breakaway attempts.    At 4km. Drama. 145 Nikolay Trusov (Gazprom-RusVelo) appeared to have his rear wheel slip out from under him and a pile up incurred going in to a tight corner. 52 Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) who had been sitting comfortably half way down the peleton in the Quick-Step train, somehow got caught in the aftermath and went down clutching his shoulder.    The crash however didn’t deter Quick-Step Floors and their train was still in full flow, being led by 56 Maximiliano Richeze and going in to the last corner, it was still the Belgium outfit leading in to the tight final bend.    53 Alvaro Jose Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) was now Quick-Step’s leading sprinter on the road but he left a small gap to the wheel of Richeze and with Hodeg slowing down, it enabled the Argentinian lead out man to push on in to the final metres. Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing) tried to chase with Bennett on the wheel but they didn’t have the legs in the final metres to close the gap and Richeze secured the opening stage win of this year. 54th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, 9-14 October 2018 (2.UWT): Stage 1 (sponsored by Turkish Airlines) - Konya › Konya Stage 2 (SporToto) - Alanya › Antalya Stage 3 (Troy) - Fethiye › Marmaris Stage 4 (SporToto) - Marmaris › Selçuk  Stage 5 (Vestel) - Selçuk › Manisa Stage 6 (Salcano) - Bursa › Istanbul   . read full article

Source: Kev Monks