Tour of Turkey: Stage victory and overall lead for Davide Rebellin

Davide Rebellin claimed a crucial win on the first mountain stage in Tour of Turkey. The Italian became to new leader of the race.

I knew that climb and I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last year, when Rein Taaramae attacked at the bottom of the ascent and we were not able to catch him. I didn’t want be surprised so I decided to accelerate early, even if it was going to cost me a lot of energy – Davide Rebellin said afterwards.

I always race with the same motivation and desire to win. Especially when the stage and the finale suits me – he continued. – This year I started the race with conviction that I’m capable of finishing on the podium. I think that my form is better than last year, when I took 5th overall. I drew some conclusions after last edition, I got to know the route and the specificity of this event. Last year I lost some seconds on a relatively flat stage which cost me a podium spot. It taught me that you have to stay concentrated here all week, because the attack from my rivals may come any moment and I have to be ready. I believe that the team is strong enough to protect the jersey all the way to Istanbul.

First of the mountain stages, which ended with an uphill finish in Elmali, saw a 5-man group – Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli),  Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia), Samuel Spokes (Drapac) and Songezo Jim (MTN – Qhubeka) – breaking clear early on and gaining over 4 minute lead. The escape was reduced to 3 riders, when Bandiera and Spokes got dropped on the cat. 1 climb (58km to go). At that point the gap was less than 3 minutes.

The trio was caught with 40km to go and soon afterwards was replaced by another 3-man group, with Pavel Brutt, Youcef Reguigui and Jelle Wallays. CCC Sprandi Polkowice was one of the teams that contributed the most to the chase, with Jan Hirt and Łukasz Owsian doing a lot of work at the head of the bunch.

The gap never exceeded 40 seconds and with 11km to go the break was over. 4 kilometers later Davide Rebellin made the decisive move. He accelerated and only Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) and Heiner Rodrigo Parra (Caja Rural – Seguros) managed to keep up the pace. The latter soon got dropped and Rebellin with Durasek were the only leaders in the front.

The Italian-croatian duo was building up the lead over the chasers. CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider had his eye on his rival, so he doesn’t surprisingly pull away. They reached the top together and with 200m to go Rebellin put the hummer down. He left Durasek behind and gained 7 seconds on that short distance. Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne – Séché Environnement) who was third, came 50 seconds behind CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

In total three “riders in orange” made the Top 30 – Nikolay Mihaylov was 16th and Stefan Schumacher 26th – and because of that the Polkowice-based squad took over the lead in the teams classification.

Results of stage 3 of Tour of Turkey, Kemer  –  Elmali, 163km

1. Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

2. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida) 0:07

3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne – Séché Environnement) 0:50

16. Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 2:49

26. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 5:02

43. Łukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)  9:09

47. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 9:34

73. Tomasz Kiendyś (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 20:24

75. Mateusz Taciak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 20:29

76. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)