Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) plucked a surprise victory on stage 1 of the Presidential Tour of Turkey after catching the opposition napping and opening his sprint with over 600 metres to go. The win for the Belgian team came after their pre-race hope Fernando Gaviria crashed in the closing kilometres. The Colombian finished the stage but was seen nursing his right shoulder as he came over the line several minutes later. Richeze, who will lead the race on stage 2, held off a late charge from Samuel Bennnet (Bora-Hansgrohe), with Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing) taking third place.ADVERTISEMENT In the penultimate WorldTour stage race of the season, a number of the best sprinters were on show. Bennett and Gaviria were billed as the hottest tickets in town but when the Colombian crashed with 3.6km to go after a clash of wheels, the race looked open for Bennett. However, the Irishman was caught with minimum support in the final portion of the race, while Quick-Step quickly rallied when it became clear that Gaviria was out of contention. The Belgian team, who recently announced a new title sponsor for 2019, hit the front of the peloton and when the road switched to the right with 600m to go Richeze cut through the corner and quickly opened up a gap. This left Bennett on the front and a moment of hesitation from the Irishman was all that Richeze needed as he opened up his sprint. The Bora sprinter was unwilling to close the gap on his own and waited for Drucker to kick for the line. By the time Drucker and Bennett had hit top speed Richeze had already started his celebration.
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