Milan Sanremo winner Ciolek confirmed for Presidential Tour of Turkey
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Milan Sanremo winner Ciolek confirmed for Presidential Tour of Turkey

by Shane Stokes at 5:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Presidential Tour of Turkey
MTN Qhubeka team to chase stage wins and also a good GC result

Gerald CiolekThe South African MTN Qhubeka team is heading to the Presidential Tour of Turkey with realistic hopes of chasing stage wins, with Milan Sanremo winner Gerald Ciolek now confirmed as heading the squad in the race.

Ciolek and former Giro d’Italia TT stage winner Ignatas Konovalovas will join six other team-mates in the 2.HC ranked event, which begins in eight day’s time in Alanya.

“The Tour of Turkey is a race we always wanted to be part of since our compatriot Daryl Impey won it [in 2009 – ed.],” stated team manager Douglas Ryder.

“It's a great event, extremely well organised and very important as a UCI 2.HC race because we have the ambition to finish in the top 15 of the Europe Tour in our first season at this level of competition.”

Also on the team will be Ciolek’s compatriot Andreas Stauff, the Italian Kristian Sbaragli and the South African quartet of Bradley Potgieter, Dennis van Niekerk, Martin Wesemann and Jaco Venter.

“We are fielding almost exactly the same team as the one who helped Ciolek win Milan-San Remo,” explained Ryder. “As a result, our priority will be to win stages but we could cause a surprise in the GC with riders like Jaco Venter or Dennis van Niekerk.”

The Presidential Tour of Turkey has in recent years been an event used by some of those gearing up for the Giro d’Italia. Several top sprinters compete there as a result, and Ciolek will be up against some big names in the race.

He’s extremely quick himself, though, as he showed by outsprinting Peter Sagan to win in Sanremo.

Ciolek moved to the team prior to the start of this season and has quickly slotted into the role of leader, bringing important results and also publicity to the sponsors, the MTN telecommunications company and also the charity Qhubeka, which works to provide bicycles to African children.

Ryder sees the race as an important platform to generate publicity about the latter goal. “In this regard, the Tour of Turkey, with its great media exposure, is a formidable showcase to send our message about the use of bikes through to children from Africa and elsewhere,” he said.

In addition to his Sanremo success, Ciolek has also won a stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen this year and was third and fourth on stages of Tirreno Adriatico.

The Presidential Tour of Turkey runs from April 21st to 28th.

Also see - Video: MTN Qhubeka releases stirring documentary into team’s early success


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