Tour of Turkey: Second victory in two days for André Greipel on stage five
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tour of Turkey: Second victory in two days for André Greipel on stage five

by Ben Atkins at 8:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Peloton splits again on a day of breaks; Natnael Berhane under pressure but holds on to lead

andre greipel André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) took his second win in two days at the 2013 Presidential Tour of Turkey, between Marmaris and Turgutreis as he sprinted to victory at the head of a depleted peloton. The German was once again the best of the sprinters that managed to stay with the front group as the race split up in the hilly, early kilometres, and beat Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and the previous day’s runner up Nikias Arndt (Argos-Shimano) as he burst clear in the finishing straight.

The 182.7km stage could only finish in a sprint after a long, solo break from Maxim Belkov (Katusha) had been neutralised with just eight kilometres to go. There were several late attacks - many from the general classification contenders - in the final kilometres, and Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) almost managed to escape to victory, but the remains of the peloton was all together as it arrived at the finish line.

“I would say [it was tougher than the previous stage] because it split up at the front directly,” Greipel said after the stage. “We found ourselves about 50 riders on the long climb. Everybody had the pressure on. It was a really hard climb but I managed to stay with them.

“In the end, everybody was attacking, nobody was riding anymore,” he continued. “We were chasing the break down with the other teams. We did our job. I'm happy I could finish the work.”

Although Lotto-Belisol had done a lot of the work to bring back the breakaway Greipel had had to sprint for the stage on his own, after following the Argos-Shimano lead out train.

“I always won sprints on my own,” he said. “But for me it's easier to count on the best lead-out train in the world, with guys like Adam Hansen, Jürgen Roelandts; riders who will help me in the Tour de France.

“I know I can trust them and it can make it easier when they're here. But when they're not, I have the instinct to do my own sprint.”

The peloton splits early and the break eventually goes

Belkov had been part of an eight-man breakaway group, with Christopher Juul Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Séché), Angelo Pagani (Bardiani-CSF), Guillaume Levarlet (Cofidis), Duber Quintero (Colombia), Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) and Nazim Bakirci (Torku Seker Spor). Pagani was just 53 seconds behind Berhane in in 13th place but, as the peloton broke into two on the hilly first half of the stage, Europcar could not prevent the Italian from getting away.

The peloton had split on the very first climb of the race, a first category mountain after 36.4km. Bakirci had been part of a breakaway, with Torku Seker Spor teammate Sergey Gretchyn, Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Yoann Bagot (Cofidis), but they were caught soon after the summit. Shortly afterwards, however, the eight-man group got away and was four minutes clear by the 75km point.

The time gap dropped briefly but, after 106km - with just over 75km to go - had risen to 4’10”; the second half of the peloton was almost six minutes behind the first by now, and would not see the front of the race again.

The breakaway group began to split up in the final 50km, with the lead down to 2’25”, as Duret began to attack. The Frenchman’s first move served only to get rid of de Maar - who quickly drifted back to the peloton - but the second seemed to be the action that provoked the attack from Belkov.

As the Russian moved ahead the rest of the group it broke up into several pieces and, by the time it re-formed, Belkov was several seconds up the road.

Although Berhane had only one Europcar teammate in the group, in the form of Björn Thurau, the young German was aided in the chase by Argos-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol and MTN-Qhubeka. Gradually the gap to the chasing group was being closed, but Belkov was moving further ahead; with 35km to go he was 1’30” clear, with the peloton now at 3’20”.

With 20km to go, as the chase group continued to split, Belkov’s lead was 2’31” over Levarlet, Bakirci, Quintero and Duret, with the others scattered in the road behind them. The peloton was just 25 seconds behind the four chasers, however, with Vini Fantini-Selle Italia and Cofidis having put riders on the front.

Bakirci and Levarlet were the last two riders to resist - although the Cofidis rider was making no contribution as his team chased from behind - but they were both caught with 18km to go; Belkov was still 2’36” clear.

Maxim Belkov tries to hold off the peloton alone

Belkov was now labouring a little on the rolling roads, however, and, with Cofidis now on the front in numbers, his lead was down to two minutes as he entered the final 15km. Cofidis moved back into the peloton, leaving Thurau and the Lotto-Belisol team to chase but, at the 10km banner, Belkov’s advantage was just one minute.

With eight kilometres to go Brice Feillu (Sojasun) tried to cross the gap to the lone Russian, which was now down to less than 40 seconds, but the French climber was soon pulled back. Aggression from Torku Seker Spor begna to split the front of the peloton - which quickly passed the exhausted Belkov - with Pauwels getting away again, then Cameron Meyer (Orica-AIS) pulling the front group up to them. Second place Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) was part of the group pulling clear, but Berhane managed to pull himself up to the group before it could get far.

Gretchyn and Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) then escaped, with Andreas Schillinger (NetApp-Endura). The trio was just seven seconds ahead with four kilometres to go, and riders began to try to bridge across; Lampre-Merida and Argos-Shimano quickly got organised on the front of the peloton, though,

As the road began to rise with two kilometres to go Pozzato jumped off the front, and the Italian was clear as he passed under the flamme rouge. The Italian was hunted down by Argos-Shimano, though, and he was caught with little more than a hundred metres to go.

Greipel came around the Dutch team, however, and, once he was up to speed, he blasted ahead and won the stage by several lengths.

Result stage 5
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Argos-Shimano
4. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team
5. Stefan van Dijk (Ned)
6. Rafael Andriato (Bra) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
7. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment
8. Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
10. Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun

Standings after stage 5
1. Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar
2. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Team Astana @ 10s
3. Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Seker Spor @ 12s
4. Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun @ 26s
5. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 34s
6. Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment @ 38s
9. John Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia @ 40s
10. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis @ 43s


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