Things looked very optimistically for Sylwester Szmyd on Stage 2 of Tour of Turkey. He was riding in the first 14-man group, when with 16km to go he crashed. Sustained injuries affected his performance in the finale and wasn’t able to fight for the top places.
The Stage 2 was held on 36-kilometer hilly lap around Cappadocia. Not only the climbing was expected to be a big factor but also the strong wind.
One of the first breakaway attempts was able to go clear. It included three men – Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Eugert Zhupa (Southeast – Venezuela) and Nicolas Baldo (Team Roth). They established a 4:30 lead, but the wind was not doing the escape any favors and the peloton caught them early, with 45 kilometers to go.
This is when things got very intense in the bunch. The pace picked up drastically on the climb and the echelons were being formed. Caja Rural – Seguros RGA did most of the work up front, reducing the bunch to only 35 riders. Among them there was Sylwester Szmyd and Davide Rebellin, who was banged up after stage 1 crash, but was ready to fight.
The Spanish squad continued pushing the pace and shattered the field to only 15 riders. From the CCC Sprandi Polkowice duo, only Szmyd was able to survive that selection, as the Italian fell behind.
The Polish climber looked very comfortable in the group, especially when the road was going uphill. Unfortunately again bad luck interrupted the “orange team”. While climbing, strong wind caused few riders to turn on the other side of the road unexpectedly. Szmyd didn’ t respond quick enough, hit the rider in front of him, fell down and lost contact with the group. He was able to find his way back to the main pack on the descend, but the crash had an impact on his pedaling. He bruised his collarbone and knee badly.
With 5 kilometers to go, at the bottom of the final climb, three Caja Rural – Seguros RGA riders Pello Bilbaro, Jose Goncalves and David Arroyo launched an attack, alongside the race leader, Przemysław Niemiec. Szmyd was unable to follow and got distanced.
Bilbao attacked again from the leading group, continued his solo effort until the finish and powered to victory. The rest of the attackers got caught, but Goncalves still managed to finish second. Mauro Finetto (Unieuro Wilier) took third. Sylwester Szmyd came in 12th place, 29 seconds back. The second best team’s finisher, Rebellin arrived 2:22 behind, in a small group.
Przemysław Niemiec kept his leader jersey.