Jonas Koch sprinted to 8th on the opening stage of Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (2.UWT), which saw a hectic finale and three CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders being involved in a mass crash late in the race.
Info: 10th of October, Alanya – Kemer, 176,7km
How it unfolded
The breakaway of the day was formed right after the gun. Simone Sterbini, Vincenzo Albanese (both Bardiani – CSF), Batuhan Ozgür, Onur Balkan (both Turkey), Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia), Flavio Santos (Funvic/Brasil Pro Cycling) went clear, establishing over 4-minute lead.
Escape was never a threat for peloton, which caught the attackers with 35km to go, just before the intermediate sprint. Bonus seconds were claimed by Francesco Gavazzi (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia).
CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were very aggressive afterwards. First it was Michał Paluta who tried to go clear, later Patryk Stosz attacked and on the first and only KOM of the day, Paluta pushed one more time, taking 2nd place at the top.
It stayed all together in the finale, but late crash split the field while entering final 1km. “Riders in orange” were among those who went down and the incident held up Mateusz Taciak. Fortunately they didn’t suffer serious injuries and they all completed the stage, although Pluciński was bruised badly.
Jonas Koch was able to get through unharmed and was one of the guys who were battling for the victory. He opened the sprint with over 200m to go, but didn’t manage to hold on and eventually finished in 8th place. Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe) took a stage win and GC jersey, besting Marco Benfatto (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia) and Edvard Theuns (Trek – Segafredo).
Since the crash happened inside the safe zone, all the riders involved were given the same time as the winner.