Spain’s José Manuel Diaz of French team Delko overhauled Australian rookie Jay Vine of Alpecin-Fenix to claim the queen stage atop Gögübeli and move into the overall lead while Argentine’s Eduardo Sepulveda of Androni took the third spot, exactly the same as six years ago at the same place!

José Manuel Diaz: “I was confident for a good result and the team trusted me for that. At the end, things went well. It was a hard finale. Going into the finish, I wasn’t having my best moment. In the last kilometre, a rider [Anthon Charmig] went away but I recovered well and eventually I managed to catch him. Only 50 metres before the line, I realized it was possible to win. It was very close to the line. But with 300 metres to go, any of the five riders at the front was able to win. It’s been tight. This is a very important result. It’s the first win of the year for the team. When a team starts winning, more results can follow. We’ll celebrated this win first and tomorrow we’ll see what more we can do but for sure we’ll try and win the overall.”

The first breakaway of the day didn’t work out but enabled Nicola Venchiarutti (Androni) to win the intermediate sprint after only 11km of racing. Mathias Brändle (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Joel Suter (Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB) managed to go clear after the regouping. They were joined at the front by Mirko Maestri (Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Cormac McGeough (Wildlife Generation), Ziga Jerman (Androni) and Nils Sinschek (Abloc CT). The six escapees reached a maximum advantage of 4’15’’ when they crossed Kumluca after 50km. Vitaliy Buts (Salcano Sakarya) managed to bridge the gap by himself to win the 1stcategory KOM price with 57km to go and therefore extend his lead in the climbing competition. Suter was the last breakaway rider at the front until he got reeled in 3.3km before the line by a group of 18 riders that went on to be torn into pieces. Anthon Charmig (UnoX) rode away with Merhawi Kudus (Astana), then he dropped the Eritrean. 300 metres before the end, Charmig was overhauled by Vine, Sepulveda and Diaz.

“I’m not really satisfied with coming second”, Vine reacted. “The headwind popped me down but the guys did everything they could for me. It’s pretty impressive that we’re up there with four riders left on the team. Jasper [Philipsen] rode out of his skin. For a sprinter, he was there with me until 7km to go. The other two guys did an amazing job all day. They kept me fed and hydrated. It’s pretty incredible to be where I’m now for my first race for a pro team. With 2km to go, I knew I was in a pretty good spot. With the headwind I just had to wait and wait. The other two coming back, I had to jump a little bit early in the wind. I didn’t end up having the kick in the end. It was close. We have four second places as a team now, so we’re still looking for the win in that TUR. We’re here for stage wins, we’re not thinking of GC at the moment.”

Sepulveda added: “This time I was closer to the victory than six years ago when I finished third here as well. I tried to win but in the end, I had big pain in the legs. I’m happy with the result anyway. I didn’t in which state of form I was coming here because I had felt a bit sick in the last race I did. Today’s stage gives me a little bit of confidence, it’s a good result for me and my future.”

Diaz, Vine and Sepulveda are in the same order in the overall ranking, just separated by six seconds. Another important classification that was played on stage 5 was the King of the Mountains competition. “As I wanted yesterday, I managed to enter the breakaway today and win the first category climb”, Buts explained. “I’m very happy. My team is happy. Tomorrow I’ll control and I hope to finish the TUR with this red jersey. At the beginning of the stage, I couldn’t make the break. There were always teams closing down on us. So the move went without me. In the long climb I tried to bridge the gap by myself. Luckily, I managed to get to the front.”