After coming second and third overall at the Presidential Tour of Türkiye in 2015 and 2021, Argentine’s Eduardo Sepulveda finally managed to win a mountain stage and take the overall lead in one of his favourite races.

He rode solo to victory at Mount Sipylus while Patrick Bevin from New Zealand and Belgium’s Harm van Houcke rounded out the podium with Nairo Quintana being only able to come fifth as he still suffers from his crash on Stage 2.

After a fast start on the big roads of Izmir, eight riders broke clear at KM 15: Simone Bevilacqua (Eolo-Kometa), Peio Goikoetxea (Euskaltel), Serghei Tvetcov (Wildlife Generation), Elchin Asadov (Sakarya BB), Feritcan Smali and Oghuzan Tiryaki (Spor Toto), Jon Knolle (Saris Rouvy) and Reiner Honig (China Glory). They got a maximum advantage of 2’50’’ at km 30.

Tiryaki won the Treasures of Türkiye Sprint at km 40 ahead of Knolle and Samli. Goikoetxea being the only threat to Vitaliy Buts’ lead in that competition, the Ukrainian mathematically secured his white jersey for one more day by just staying in the bunch.

Three teams seized the command of the peloton: Alpecin-Fenix for Jay Vine, UnoX for Anders Johannessen and Arkea-Samsic for Nairo Quintana. It was all together at the beginning of the climb with 14km to go. Lotto-Soudal took the command of the reduced peloton to pave the way for Van Houcke. Quintana tested his legs 8km before the end and realized that he was not back to his full climbing capacities but still suffering from the consequences of his crash.

Vine tried his luck with 5km to go but it was Sepulveda who found the way to go away solo 4.5km before the summit.

The Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli climber maintained a 20’’ lead at the 3km and 2km to go marks. He reached the top with 15’’ over Bevin and Van Houcke while a brave Quintana settled for fourth in the stage that he was scheduled to win.

With four days to go, Sepulveda is now the hot favourite for winning the 57th Presidential Tour of Türkiye but he’ll have to watch out for Bevin who is also a good sprinter and might go for the time bonuses in the bunch sprint finishes, starting with Stage 5 known as the Gallipoli stage, which a strong historical symbol for a rider coming from New Zealand.