Davide Rebellin was 19th on the second mountain stage of Tour of Turkey. He lost his turquoise jersey, but is still 2nd overall.
It was a very fast race. On the flat part, in the second half of the stage, the other teams set extremely high pace, similar to that before the bunch sprint finish. This is why Davide Rebellin approached the last slope with “blocked legs”. He was not very tired at the finish, only his legs were not working the way he would like to. He would prefer a bigger climb before Selcuk, which would slow down the group. You also have to take into consideration that he is 43 years old, and he doesn’t recover that well anymore. The early wake up, at 6am, for the unannounced doping control was not in his favor either – Gabriele Missaglia said aftewards.
It took over an hour to establish the escape of the day. After first 60 minutes of racing the riders covered 52 kilometers, so it was not easy to break away. Finally the bunch let 4 riders – Rudolph (Drapac), Salomein (Topsport), Jans (Wanty) and Akdilek (Torku) – to create a lead. Their biggest advantage was at 4:30.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice worked with Tinkoff-Saxo at the front to reduce the gap. The group was caught with 22 km to go. Before hitting the bottom of the final climb, the pace in the bunch increased dramatically. It was set by the teams of Rebellin’s GC rivals.
The last hill kicked off with a series of punches from the peloton. The most powerful and the one with the best timing came from Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), who eventually won the stage. He bested Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), who was one of the first to launch an attack on the ascent. Heiner Rodrigo Parra (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) took third.
Davide Rebellin reached the top in 19th place, one minute behind the winner and 43 seconds after Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida), who took over the GC lead. The Italian is now 21 seconds back overall.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice dropped to 2nd in the teams classification, as the winner’s team, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA became the new leader in that ranking.