Tobias Lund makes it three

The 59th Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye gives team DSM-Firmenich-PostNL a dream result as they claimed their sixth stage victory with the third one by Tobias Lund Andresen who moved into the green jersey while Frank van den Broek retained the overall lead with one day to go and the grand finale in Istanbul on Sunday.

Following several skirmishes, James Whelan (Q36.5) and Natnael Berhane (Beykoz) who was the overall winner of the TUR in 2013 and now races for an Istanbul-based squad. They got a maximum advantage of 4’20’’ recorded atop the only categorized climb of the day at km 48.7. Corratec-Vini Fantini, the team of sprinters Jakub Mareczko and Attilio Viviani, combined forces with DSM-Firmenich-PostNL to bring the breakaway back. As they were not much more than two minutes down on Van den Broek overall, Whelan and Berhane were a threat for the race leader and the Dutch outfit had also announced their intention to go for a fifth stage victory with Fabio Jakobsen.

Berhane took the primes along the way and Vinzent Dorn who was already mathematically assured of being the King of the Mountain overall placed third at the top of the climb and at the Treasures of Türkiye sprint, which also made him the overall winner of this competition, shall he complete the last stage in Istanbul within the time cut.

It was all together again with 7km to go and all set for a spectacular bunch gallop on the seafront in Izmir. Astana looked to have put the elements in place for Mark Cavendish to win and his main rival Jakobsen was given a lead out by Lund but lost his wheel so the Dane had no choice but go for the sprint himself. He took his third stage win ahead of Belgium’s Timothy Dupont and Spain’s Manuel Penalver.

Stage 7 winner Tobias Lund Andresen declared in the press conference:

“I maybe dreamt of winning one stage here but coming to this race, for sure I would have never imagined that I would win three stages. It was mostly a preparation for the lead out for Fabio Jakobsen before the Giro d’Italia and now I’m winning myself, it’s a dream. It’s more than a dream.

I have to watch the video to understand how it happened today. It’s hard to believe. It was a lead out, I wasn’t going for the sprint. I was hoping for Fabio to be on my wheel, but when I opened the sprint, I couldn’t see anyone on my wheel, so I just went for it, hoping that Fabio would still be on my slipstream, but when you have that opportunity with 50 metres to go, you have to throw your bike to the line and take the win yourself. It’s unbelievable. 

Raising the arms up the air is something you learn from the u11 category. I’ve raced since I was 6 years old. Cycling has always been part of my life as much as I can remember. I grew up in a cycling family and where I am today… I wouldn’t be here without them. They also gave me this winning instinct. My brother has been a national champion in multiple disciplines of cycling. He was very gifted and very clever. He’s cleverer than me but I’m getting there. My dad just loves cycling, he’s been very helpful and he enjoys the environment of the racing.

Now I also realize that I’ve won in a wonderful environment in Izmir. With all the air miles that we’ve won at the TUR, for sure I’ll come back to Türkiye. Racing in Istanbul tomorrow will be amazing. It shows how big of a race this is as the organisation can close down such a massive city for us to race. I’m looking forward to a grand finale with the team, trying to win another sprint with Fabio and the overall with Frank van den Broek.”

Race leader Frank van den Broek said:

“It was a great opportunity for us to lead the race after the queen stage. I could feel the difference after the breakaway formation. I had a little bit of an uncomfortable moment. It went a little uphill after 30km and there was some crosswind. Some guys struggled a bit, so I helped them coming across to the main peloton and the breakaway was gone so it became a comfortable situation again. I haven’t seen much of the sprint finish myself. I tried to get some wind before and let the lead out guys do their own thing. I’m not fast enough to take part in the sprint when it’s hectic. I’m very excited to race in Istanbul tomorrow with the turquoise jersey. We just have to make sure that we don’t do any mistake so we take the jersey home safely.”

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

“Today, I was still a bit nervous because I knew that the Treasures of Türkiye classification was not done. There was a Polish rider [Konrad Czabok] who was really close. But at the end he didn’t try. He’s a very young rider. He told me that this is one of his first stage races. On the seventh day, maybe he misses a bit of power. There were two breakaway riders but I had the legs to sprint for third place. I felt great and now I’m really happy that I have those two jerseys in the bag. I wanted to show till the end that I’m very concerned about those two jerseys.