First summit finish and stronger lineup for Presidential Tour of Turkey
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

First summit finish and stronger lineup for Presidential Tour of Turkey

by VeloNation Press at 10:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
2.HC race continues to develop

Aleksandr EfimkinIntroducing the first summit finish in the five year history of the race plus an impressive lineup of UCI ProTeam and Pro Continental squads, the organisers of the Presidential Tour of Turkey are aiming to ensure that the 2012 edition is the best one to date.

The race will begin in Alanya on April 22nd and will include a climb that the race director Abdurrahman Açikalin suggests could be very decisive.

“Following the start in Alanya, we’ll head towards some of the traditional stage finishes in Marmaris and Kusadasi”, he said. “But we’ve also followed the request of the teams’ directors who asked us to come up with an uphill stage finish.

“Stage 3 from Tekirova to Elmali will make the Presidential Tour of Turkey very attractive. The end of the stage will be at an altitude of 1850 meters. It’s a difficult climb, pretty similar to L’Alpe d’Huez.”

The more selective route could entice bigger names to take part, but the race appears to be working well in other ways to boost the field. A field of 200 riders from 25 teams will line out this year, the most to date, and of those eight will be UCI WorldTour teams.

The squads concerned are Ag2r-La Mondiale, Astana, Greenedge, Katusha, Lampre-ISD, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Saxo Bank. There will also be no less than fifteen Pro Continental squads, namely Accent Jobs-Veranda Willems, Andalucia, Bretagne-Schüller, Caja Rural, Colnago-CSF Inox, Colombia-Coldeportes, Europcar, Farnese Vini-Italia, Project 1t4i, Rusvelo, Spidertech, Team NetApp, Team Type 1, UnitedHealthcare and Utensilnord-Named.

The lineup will be completed by the Turkish Continental squads Salcano-Arnavutkoy and Konya-Torku Seker Spor.

New direction (literally):

The 2012 edition will see the race reverse the usual format, with the previous trend of starting in Istanbul and finishing in Alanya being switched around.

“We always listen to teams and riders,” Açikalin insisted. “We do our best to put together a program that suits their wishes. For sure the 2012 Presidential Tour of Turkey will be an historical one.”

He explained that the reason for changing the route is to put more emphasis on the start town. The fact that Istanbul is the European capital of sport this year also means it is fitting as the conclusion point.

“We want to highlight cycling in Alanya for a few days,” he explained, then detailed what that would involve. “We’ll organize a very nice teams’ presentation in the center of town. People from Alanya will be able to hang out with top professional cyclists and get to understand more about this sport, which is rapidly growing in Turkey these days.

“The Presidential Tour of Turkey is part of a huge project for the development of cycling in our country.”

The sport has been growing well over the past four years, with the Presidential Tour of Turkey starting in 2008 and seven international category two races being created in that time.

In addition to that, two continental teams have been established and, thanks to three mountain bike riders, the country will compete in the Olympic Games this summer in mountain biking.

Last year’s race was won by Team Type 1 rider Alexander Efimkin (pictured).

2012 Présidential Tour of Turkey:

Stage 1: Alanya-Alanya, 148 km
Stage 2: Alanya-Kemer, 185 km
Stage 3: Tekirova-Elmali, 148 km
Stage 4: Fethiye-Marmaris, 130 km
Stage 5: Marmaris-Turgutreis, 170 km
Stage 6: Bodrum-Kusadasi, 181 km
Stage 7: Ephesus-Izmir, 118 km
Stage 8: Istanbul (Europe to Asia), 114 km


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