Tour of Turkey: Sajnok 5th to wrap the 2018 season

Szymon Sajnok wrapped the 2018 season for CCC Sprandi Polkowice, taking 5th place in the last stage of Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. Also Paweł Cieślik finished the year in style, as he was involved in the breakaway of the day.  

Info: October 14th, Bursa – Istanbul, 166,7km

Course: undulating

It took over 50km and countless attempts to establish the day’s breakaway. First a trio went clear, and soon another 5 riders joined the party. Paweł Cieślik was part of that counterattacking group and later on, an 8-man escape of the day.

They gained 3:15 on the bunch, which was very eager to finish the race with a field sprint. They were gradually closing in on the break with CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider and caught them with 7km to go.

Before that merger happened, there was a special moment in this event, as the riders went through Euroasia tunnel, that runs 100m below the sea level.

The finale in Istanbul was very hectic, with few sharp and tricky turns inside final 1,5km. Szymon Sajnok tackled first one very well positioned and could respond to attacks launched on the streets of the biggest Turkish city. He couldn’t follow eventual winner, Sam Bennett, but thanks to his aggressive performance late in the stage he was able to finish in 5th place. Pole avoided a pile up at the last turn, so he could end the season safely, with no injuries.

It was quite nervous ending of the stage, but thanks to my teammates, I could tackle the last corner, with 1,5km to go with still “fresh legs” and in good position. It wasn’t a typical sprint, as it was important to kick off the finish much earlier. I sat behind a Quick Step rider and from that spot I decided to wait for the decisive gallop to the line. I’m not fully satisfied, because in retrospect, when I go back to that finale, I think I should have taken more risk and tried a long attack, when I was on the wheel of Quick Step rider. Maybe they wouldn’t have caught me – 21-year old explains. 

Eduard Prades claimed the overall victory as he finished 2nd in the last stage, gained 6 seconds of bonification and tied the GC time of Alexey Lutsenko. Piotr Brożyna was the highest ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider in general classification, taking 30th place.