Modolo and Coquard confirmed as part of strong sprinting lineup in Presidential Tour of Turkey
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Modolo and Coquard confirmed as part of strong sprinting lineup in Presidential Tour of Turkey

by Shane Stokes at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Other fast gallopers set to be announced in coming days

Sacha ModoloA stage winner in 2012, the Italian sprinter Sacha Modolo has been confirmed as heading back to this year’s Presidential Tour of Turkey and is fired up to again achieve some big results there.

The Bardiani Valvole CSF Inox rider got the year off to a fine start when he beat Mark Cavendish to win a stage of the Tour de San Luis. He had high ambitions for the Tour of Qatar but crashed and suffered a fractured scaphoid. That cost him in terms of his buildup for Milan-Sanremo, a race he placed fourth in in 2010, and he was a non-finisher.

More recently he’s shown that he is getting back on track with second on stage 3a of the Driedaagse de Panne and another runner-up slot on stage one of the Circuit de la Sarthe . If that upward curve continues, he will be in strong condition for the Turkish race.

“I'm gradually getting back into shape,” he confirmed. “My condition is a month late, but it should allow me to tackle the Tour of Turkey with the ambition of winning a stage again.”

That triumph last year was one of six victories during the season, and is one that he savours. “This stage win in Turkey is an excellent memory,” he said, referring to his success ahead of Mark Renshaw (Blanco Pro Cycling) and Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge).

“The Tour of Turkey is a race I like very much. It's hot, it's a great preparation for the Giro and since they added this mountain finish in Elmali, the course is perfect, scattered with mixed stages which can appeal to sprinters or breakaway riders. It makes it an interesting race from start to finish.”

He will be up against a number of strong sprinters in the race, which runs from April 21st until 28th. Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol), Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini – Selle Italia) are all thought to be part of the lineup, although they have yet to be officially announced.

One who has been confirmed however is the strong French neo-pro Bryan Coquard, who has emerged as one of the most impressive neo pros.

Bryan CoquardSilver medallist last year in the Olympic Omnium event and again in the world under 23 road race championships, Coquard turned professional with the Europcar team this year and immediately started clocking up impressive results. He took two stage wins in the Etoile de Bessèges and then two more in the Tour de Langkawi.

More recently he was second in the Val d’Ille Classic and second and third on stages of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

One of those defeats was to Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), but Coquard believes he’s making good progress. “To lose a sprint against the French champion is not something to be ashamed of for someone who makes his debut in the pro ranks,” he stated then.

“I'm still here to learn and that’s my frame of mind ahead of the Tour of Turkey in which there will be a great field of sprinters.”

He’s got high ambitions for the Turkish race, but also accepts that they will likely not follow the same pattern as the races he has been successful in this year. “The sprints in Turkey look set to be different from the ones I took so far this season. The more sprinters and teams to lead them out, the more organized the sprint and I still have to show my worth in such conditions. But why not win a stage? In any case, I'm going to try,” he vowed.

“I know nothing about Turkey but I was told it was great. It's hot, the courses are beautiful and tricky. I'm going there with a lot of motivation.”

Coquard will turn 21 during the race and this will give him further incentive to aim for success on that day.


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