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Tour of Turkey: Stępniak 6th in the opener

Grzegorz Stępniak kicked off Tour of Turkey with 6th place on Stage 1. After a solo move it was won by the Polish rider, Przemysław Niemiec.

It was quite chaotic beginning of Tour of Turkey, filled with crashes. Because of them the race was neutralized and started off again, with 113km to go. One of the victims was Davide Rebellin, who crashed also in Istambul last year. This time he managed to get on his bike though and continue the race.

After that hectic opener, a 4-man group was formed, which included Przemysław Niemiec (Lampre), Jose Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Nikita Stalnov (Astana City). On one of the climbs Gonçalves punctured and lost contact with the escape. Later he was replaced in the front by his teammate, Lluis Mas Bonnet and Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) who joined the group.

Nikolay Mihaylov also tried to bridge across, but eventually sat up and returned to the bunch, with around 79km remaining. At that point the gap was at 2 minutes.

When the peloton was getting close to the leaders, Niemiec made a solo move. By himself, he built up a 3-minut lead and managed to hold off the peloton led by Southeast.  In the finale the main field picked up the pace drastically  and reduced the differential to only 20 seconds. Former escapee, Jose Goncalves finished 2nd after a late attack and Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg CT) took 3rd.

Grzegorz Stępniak made the top 10, by claiming 6th place. He also sits in 6th overall.