Yates Wins Tour of Turkey 2014
Team GreenEdge's neo-professional Adam Yates became the first British winner of the Tour of Turkey in Istanbul earlier today. The final stage was decided in a sprint, which was won by Omega Pharma - QuickStep's former world champion Mark Cavendish ahead of Elia Viviani of Team Cannondale.
En route to victory in the 50th edition of the eight day Turkish tour, Yates scored his first professional win, soloing across the line in the stage 6 summit finish. The victory allowed Yates to move to top of the general classification by 1 second over Team Cofidis’ Rein Taaramäe. Gapping Taaramäe at the finish on the final stage, Yates extended his lead to 5 seconds in the final general classification. Team Cofidis’ Romain Hardy finished third.
“We came to the Tour of Turkey racing for stages,” said Yates. “When you decide to race for stages in the mountains, you can go for the overall as long as you stay up there on the sprint stages. We weren’t targeting the overall classification, but it came with targeting those two summit finishes.”
“On the first mountain stage, Taaramäe was clearly the strongest,” continued Yates. “The key moment of our race was when I won the next mountain stage and took the jersey off him. On the stage that I did win, the guys kept me out of the wind all day. I arrived at the bottom of the climb fresh, which was really important.”
“I can’t thank the team enough,” Yates added. “Hopefully there is more like this to come.”
The peloton flew into Istanbul on Saturday evening for a final stage circuit race around Turkey’s capital city on Sunday. The day included a 30 kilometer procession onto the circuit where the peloton would ride eight times around the 11 kilometer loop. The stage is traditionally one for the sprinters.
“It was pretty calm at the start,” explained Team GreenEdge sports director Julian Dean. “The rainy conditions sort of dampened things a bit. Morale of the whole peloton was a bit low. It took a little while for the race to really get going, and that played into our hands. There were a couple attacks but nothing too serious. I think the peloton was tired.”
When the peloton hit the circuit, a seven rider breakaway formed off the front of the bunch. Several different teams patrolled the head of affairs, keeping the escape group in check. The leaders were unable to stretch their advantage beyond the minute mark.
“There was no one in the move that was a threat to the overall,” noted Dean. “This left us with just one priority. We kept Adam out of trouble, out of the wind and in a good position throughout the rest of the race.”
“We were never under any pressure but it was stressful,” admitted Yates. “The rain at the start was quite dangerous. It’s easy to slip or fall or get taken down by someone else. All the hard work during the week could be over just like that.”
Team Cannondale and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step upped the tempo in the final hour of the race, spelling an end for the break’s time out front. Just inside the start of the last lap, the bunch was back together. Initially, the Australian outfit was happy to allow the sprint teams to duke it out for