Tobias Lund Andresen takes breakthrough victory and race lead

Tobias Lund Andresen takes breakthrough victory and race lead

At half way into the 59th Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye, the new race leader is Denmark’s Tobias Lund Andresen of DSM-Firmenich-PostNL who won a reduced bunch sprint at Bodrum ahead of Danny van Poppel and Henri Uhlig whereas pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Fabio Jakobsen and Sam Welsford were in different groups of stragglers as it was a demanding stage along the coast from Marmaris to Bodrum.
An interesting breakaway was formed in the first 10 kilometres of racing, with Negasi Haylu Abreha (Q36.5), Lennert Teugels (Bingoal WB), Andrea Miltiadis (Terengganu), Robbe Claeys (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Yago Aguirre (Rembe). But other riders and teams motivated to deliver a good race brought them back and another move took shape before km 20, with James Wheelan (Q36.5), Calum Johnston (Caja Rural-RGA), Manuele Tarozzi (VF Group-Bardiani), Owen Geleijn (TDT), Gianni Marchand (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Petros Menga (Beykoz). 

The two main contenders of the King of the Mountains competition, Samet Bulut (Beykoz) and Vinzent Dorn (BikeAid), managed to bridge the gap at km 40. The eight escapees got a maximum lead of 2’50’’ at km 54. Dorn bettered the two riders from Beykoz on the first categorised climb at km 61. He also took the second KOM at km 94.2 and the Treasures of Türkiye sprint at km 115 as well, ahead of Whelan and Johnston. Polti-Kometa was the most active team in the chase and Astana helped to bring the breakaway back. It only happened in the last kilometre when Tarozzi, the last survivor of the escape, surrendered. 

Van Poppel went for it in the sprint again but Andresen proved to be the fastest. The Dane took his first professional victory in Bodrum at the age of 21.

Tobias Andresen said in the press conference:

“I’m really happy to get my first pro win for team DSM-Firmenich-PostNL. We also came here to finalise our preparation for the Giro d’Italia, to practice the lead out. We had a sprint training camp in the Netherlands. Fabio [Jakobsen] and myself worked a lot together. We got video analysis to really get flying into the Giro, but obviously we wanted to prove ourselves here. Fabio was super happy after his first win. He showed his incredible speed. We wanted to get some wins here, and it’s part of the process leading to the Giro.

Our priority in the sprints is always Fabio and I’m his last lead out guy. I’m only 21 so it’s a big job for me, but in days like this, I’m usually told to stay in the front. So I can take my own chance if Fabio doesn’t make it. But if he gets over, the priority stays with him. The wind didn’t affect us much today, or only in the last descent but I went straight to not take any risk.

To be fair, I had two bike changes in the last 20km. I just came back to the peloton with 10km to go so I was not aware of how close we were to catching the breakaway. It was a bit of a surprise we caught them so late, but luckily Astana was up there with a lot of helpers. Lonardi’s people [Polti-Kometa] were really pulling today. Sometimes you also just have to gamble that other teams close the gap. 

This is my first time in Türkiye. It’s really nice and warm! I discover a beautiful country, it’s nicer than racing in Belgium or the Netherlands at the moment. Every day we get to stay by the beach. The roads were a bit hard today, but it also made it a nicer race. 

The TUR is actually a really nice race to do. After all the one-day races, you need this kind of one-week long race to get back into top shape. It’s nice to get back into this stage race mindset. It’s hard every day so it gives a good shape.

The fact that I’m the fourth race leader in four days also shows that it’s a hard race. It’s very open. It’s really nice that not the same rider is in the turquoise jersey every day and not the same team pulling, it’s good for the race.”

Points classification leader Giovanni Lonardi said:

“We have worked all day and we managed to close the gap at the very end. I arrived a bit at the limit of what I could do in the sprint. I was a bit behind and I got blocked a few times. I didn’t have the legs of the previous days so I finish a bit too far behind the winner. I feel sorry for my team-mates but we’ve raced well and we’ve showed that we’re up to the task. It’s always emotional to have the leader’s jersey, for the team… It maintains the morale high. We are all in a good shape. We are happy about that. We’re working well towards the Giro d’Italia. I have lost the turquoise jersey but I’ve kept the green one. There’ll be other occasions to fight for it in the coming days. I want to score some points to win this jersey.”

King of the Mountains and Treasures of Türkiye classification leader Vinzent Dorn said:

“The beginning of the race was super hard. A breakaway went and I tried to bridge the gap along with Samet Bulut. To be honest, I had big doubts that we could make it to the front. We were really suffering. It was so hard to jump across to the lead group. I’m for sure very happy about how I performed on the climbs. I had a really good day again and I’ll keep fighting for the red jersey. With three wins in four days in the Treasures of Türkiye competition, I have a good chance to win it overall I believe.”