Sam Bennett (BORA Hansgrohe) took his fourth stage win of the 2017 Presidential Tour of Turkey today in the Vestel Selçuk İzmir Stage (166 km), on a day of high temperatures, numerous crashes, and a fast and chaotic final sprint.

Local favourite Ahmed Örkhen (Turkish national team) was second, achieving his first podum finish in his home race, beating Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) into third place.

Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) took the lead in the Turkish Airlines Red jersey mountains competition. The other jerseys were unchanged.

To download full results, please click here.

Vestel Selçuk İzmir Stage 5 (166 km) summary result:

1. Sam Bennett (BORA Hansgrohe) 4h 06m 51s

2. Ahmed Örkhen (Turkish national team) s.t.

3. Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.


All photography, credit Brian Hodes / VeloImages

Summary General Classification:

1. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

2. Jesper Hansen (Astana Pro Team) +12s

3. Daniel Martínez (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) +24

 

Jerseys

Spor Toto Turquoise jersey: overall race leader: Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

Turkish Airlines Red Jersey: mountain classification leader: Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF)

Vestel White Jersey: Beauties of Turkey classification leader: Onur Balkan (Turkish national team)

Salcano Green Jersey: points classification leader: Sam Bennett (BORA-Hansgrohe)

Rider quotes

Stage winner and Salcano Green Jersey, Sam Bennett (BORA-Hansgrohe)

You made it over the hill. Your team wasn’t complete but the result was the same as in the previous sprints.

Yesterday was so hard on every climb that I didn’t think I’d get over any of the climbs today. Yesterday I didn’t have to go the podium and do everything, so I had time for 10 hours sleep and I recovered as much as a I could. I had really bad legs yesterday. Today, they weren’t super but they weren’t as bad as yesterday. I got over the first climb and made the split, and I was OK, but then I had an acute case of crosswind paranoia. I heard Leo crashed but I didn’t know Schwarzy did too. I hope they’re OK. I still haven’t seen them Leo helped me on the first climb, and the lads were a great help on the final climb too. The beginning of the last climb wasn’t so steep; it went up in steps. The surface made a big difference. It was good, while on the first climb, the surface was completely dead.

Then I looked down and suddenly there were 4km to go. I decided to really fight. It was 50-50 whether I went for the stage or saved energy for tomorrow. I saw Theuns was struggling – well, not struggling, but fighting also – and that was good for the morale. Trek had a lot of guys, I was a bit frightened, but then Silvio Herklotz came over. In the end, the sprint was aggressive, Trek went on the left, I was on the right, I was clipping the legs of the barriers and nearly went down. I managed to get through. Then, in the final I didn’t realise we were there. The last 500m went so quick and I didn’t see the 200m to go, I only saw the 100m to go. The moment passedfor Theuns to get out. He was blocked behind his lead out man who should have forced me wider. In the end, when I put down the power, it was still the same, so I think for future reference I should have more self believe, and just go at the right moment.

I’m delighted to get the win, with the effort the guys put in. Sadly we didn’t have Gregor [Mühlberger] today: we’d have loved to keep him up in GC, so we really had to fight for UCI points in the sprints. I got my 10 wins for the season, so that’s always been a career goal, and it’s the first time I’ve ever achieved that, and I’m very proud of that. I’m going to really enjoy this off season. I’m really happy.

Will winning in Istanbul be a special goal?

Yeah, I can’t be greedy, but I do want to win again, and if I could do that, I’d be delighted. I’m a little bit disappointed that my legs weren’t better yesterday, because I’d love to still be in it. Maybe I could have got some more points in the General Classificiation. I didn’t know when I’ll get the opoprutnity to do that again in the WorldTour GC.

To beat Kittel in the World rankings, you’ll have to go to China next week…

It’s tempting. I’m on a fine line between over doing it and feeling bad like I did a few weeks ago. I saw it’s a fine line, and I have to respect the body. It’s been a long season, and I need rest. The body has been giving me signs, and I haven’t listened to it. I have always wanted a WorldTour race at the end of the season, and I wondered if I’d ever get one. Half my wins this season are in the WorldTour. OK, not the biggest sprinters are here, but it’s a stepping stone. Today was so hard, so I’m super happy with that. They are not handing anything to me. It’s still a hard race with a lot of riders who want to win. It’s still a fight, so it’s a big moment for me, and hopefully I’m helping the team too. I don’t know where we are in the team rankings, but another 40 pts in the stages.

Ahmet Örken (Turkish national team), second in the stage: “This is a very good result for me. This is my fifth time competing in the Presidential Tour of Turkey and it’s my first time on the podium of a stage. It’s amazing. It’s also a confidence booster for next year when I’ll be racing at a higher level. A second place in a WorldTour race has a huge value. I feel stronger in the hills this year. I’ve trained a lot in the mountains. I was following Sam Bennett today. I knew he was the fastest but everybody was looking at his back wheel. I came very close though. Had the line been ten meters further, I might have been able to pass him but I’m already happy with what I achieved today.”

Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates), third in the stage: “Since yesterday, our race has changed. The major goal was to defend Diego Ulissi’s leader’s jersey. There’s been a bit of a battle today, especially at the beginning of the race. It’s been demanding to let the right breakaway go but we managed to do so. But it weakened the team a fair bit. We all rode at the front in the last climb. I got dropped for a little while and I made it back to the main group quickly. With the legs I had left at the end, I gave it ago in the sprint. I’m satisfied with this second podium at the TUR.”

Spor Toto Turquoise jersey Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

How hard was the stage?

The day went as expected. We had to control the race. My team-mates were very strong again today They did everything they could to keep the pace high after the final climb, and the favourites fore the stage were the sprinters. We had Consonni, who was 3rd, so it was a good day for us in every way.

What do you expect of grand final tomorrow in Istambul?

The stage doesn’t offer big climbs, so our goal will be to do what we did today: control the peloton, arrive well positioned in the final kilometres, and protect my lead and work for Consonni

Are you looking forward to seeing the sights?

I am looking forward to going home to be with my wife and children.

Do you expect attacks tomorrow in Istanbul?

I hope not but if there are any, I think that my team is strong, very strong, and will be able to cope with them.

Vestil White jersey (“Turkish beauties” sprints leader) Onur Balkan (Turkish national team): “Today it was very hard. We attacked at the beginning. I was glad to be part of the front group of seven riders, but the head wind made it difficult to stay at the front until the Turkish beauties sprint. Some of us got caught by the peloton in the first climb. After that, there was nothing more I could do for the white jersey so I tried to help Ahmet Örken. We believed that he was able to make a top 3 finish at the TUR. He performed greatly today, congratulations to him for his sprint. I’d love to get the white jersey in Istanbul so I’ll do my best to defend my lead.”

 

Vestel Selçuk İzmir Stage 5 (166 km) report

The peloton passed km 0 at 11.45. The start was explosive, at high speed, with a succession of attacks in which successive groups of 4, 6 and 10 riders repeatedly opened small gaps, only to be engulfed by the speeding, churning peloton.

After 16 minutes of racing, with the peloton still boiling with action, there was a crash, leading to a a bike change for 43 Przemyslaw Niemiec (UAE Team Emirates), no doubt among others, and the abandon of 96 Victor Ranghetti (Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team), who was removed from the roadside in an ambulance. 5 Serkan Balkan (Turkish National Team) returned to the peloton. His team-mate 6 Feritcan Samli, in the breakaway yesterday, required medical attention.

Soon afterwards, after some 25 minutes of racing, 6 riders gained some tens of seconds on the group:

 

8 Muhammed Atalay (Turkish National Team)

18 Zhandos Talnov ( Astana Pro Team)

27 Aleksej Saramotins (BORA – Hansgrohe)

35 Kiel Reijnen (TREK – Segafredo)

62 Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

106 Julien Stassen (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect)

 

8 Muhammed Atalay (Turkish National Team) and 35 Kiel Reijnen (TREK – Segafredo) dropped back to the peloton, and the remaining four were also reabsorbed. Then the peloton itself split into two parts, a leading group of twenty enjoying – if that is the word – a small lead.

 

After 50 minutes of racing, 7 riders forced open a small gap.

 

107 Lukas Spengler (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect) 6.11

62 Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 9.42

6 Onur Balkan (Turkish national team) in the Vestel White Jersey 11.02

126 Matteo Spreafico (Androni–Sidermec–Bottecchia) 13.59

8 Muhammed Atalay (Turkish National Team) 15.48

102 Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect) 17.58

87 Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia) 21.38

 

With only 11 mountain points left in the Turkish Airlines Red Jersey mountains competition, of the breakaway riders, only Onur Balkan could move into contention for the jersey. But even that possibility dissolved on the Category 3 climb, where Balkan, his team-mate Muhammed Atalay and Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect) dropped back into the group, while 21 Shane Archbold (BORA Hansgrohe) went the other way broke across to the leaders.

 

The partly new, partly old breakaway now looked like this:

107 Lukas Spengler (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect) 6.11

62 Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 9.42

87 Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia) 21.38

126 Matteo Spreafico (Androni–Sidermec–Bottecchia) 13.59

21 Shane Archbold (BORA Hansgrohe) 15:28

 

Km 52.8: Category 3 climb (Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition)

1. (3 pts) 21 Shane Archbold (BORA Hansgrohe)

2. (2 pts)

3. (1 pt)

 

After 65 km, the new group established a lead of 2 minutes. However, after 81.5 kms, that lead had halved to 1 minute. At that point in the race, a hint of crosswind from the left led to the formation of slight, and rather precautionary echelons, with Trek Segafredo leading the peloton in the familiar figure of Eugenio Alafaci.

 

km 76.3: intermediate sprint (Salcano Green Jersey)

1. (5 pts, 3 bonus secs) 126 Matteo Spreafico (Androni–Sidermec–Bottecchia)

2. (3 pts, 2 bonus secs) 107 Lukas Spengler (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect)

3. (1 pt, 1 bonus secs) 21 Shane Archbold (BORA Hansgrohe)

 

km 95 another Soul Brasil Pro Cycling Team rider, Raphael Pires, abandoned.

After 100km, the advantage of the leaders was 1 minute 54 seconds. After 113 km the peloton, led by Marco Coledan and Eugenio Alafaci (Trek Segafredo), was around 1 minute.

Only Alex Turrin had any Vestel White Jersey points: full points at the sprint would leave him equal 2nd in that competition, 2 points short of Onur Balkan, his erstwhile breakaway companion. Nonetheless, speaking theoretically, with a total of 10 points still available in that competition, any rider in the peloton could still equal Balkan’s total.

With 40 km to go, a crash involving Eugenio Alafaci (Trek Segafredo) and Federico Zurlo (UAE Team Emirates) held up the pelton. Alafaci’s Presidential Tour of Turkey ended there: he was holding ribs on the left hand side.
km 125.2: “Beauties of Turkey” sprint (Vestel White Jersey)

1. (5 pts) 87 Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia) Spreafico Archbold

2. (3 pts) 126 Matteo Spreafico (Androni–Sidermec–Bottecchia)

3. (1 pt) 21 Shane Archbold (BORA Hansgrohe)

 

After the “Beauties of Turkey” sprint Shane Archbold, taking 62 Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and 126 Matteo Spreafico (Androni–Sidermec–Bottecchia) with him. There were now three rider with a slender lead of 45 seconds.

A large crash saw notably 83 Miguel Flores (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) abandon the race. 24 Leo König (BORA Hansgrohe, who was holding his right hand and grimacing) required a bike change, as did 111 Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani CSF). 12 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana Pro Team) and Igor Boev (GazProm-RusVelo) were held up by the crash, but were able to rejoin the peloton.

After 134.5 km, with 31.5 km remaining, the remaining breakaway riders were caught.

On the category 2 climb, 1 km before the preime, 85 Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) attacked. 2 Nazim Bakirci gave chase, with 34 Jarlinson Pantano (Trek Segafredo) leading the reaction from the bunch.

 

km 137.1: category 2 climb (Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition)

1. (5 pts) 85 Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia)

2. (3 pts) 82 Daniel Martínez (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia)

3. (2 pts) 113 Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF)

4. (1 pt) 46 Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates)

Maestri thus took the lead in the Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition. Mewanwhile, Koshevoy and Martínez continued their attack together, with UAE Team Emirates chasing furiously at the head of the peloton to defend the race lead of Diego Ulissi. The foolish, doomed, wonderful move by the Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia riders, and the chase that closed it down, split the peloton. Even so, sprint favourites Bennett and Theuns had both made the group at the head of the race. Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates), third in Stage 2, rejoined it with 21.5 km to go.

45 Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) rode so hard at the front that he opened a 50m gap on the descent, folding himself over his frame in an aerodynamic tuck with that characteristically toothy grimace. The move fore Kiel Riejnen (Trek Segafredo) to move to the front of the chasing group and force the pace. UAE Team Emirate combined defending the Spor Toto Turquoise jersey Diego Rosa with preparing the sprint for Simone Consonni.

In the final 3km, Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) attacked alone, but was caught by the sprinters’ teams.

In the final gallop, Sam Bennett (BORA Hansgrohe) outsprinted Ahmed Örkhen (Turkish national team) with Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) third.
km 166: stage finish (15, 14, 13 ,12 etc. points to the first 15 riders across, and 10, 6 and 4 bonus seconds towards the Spor Toto Turquoise jersey)

1. (15 pts, 10 bonus secs) Sam Bennett (BORA Hansgrohe)

2. (14 pts, 6 bonus secs) Ahmed Örkhen (Turkish national team)

3. (13 pts, 4 bonus secs) Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates)