(Presidential) Cycling Tour of Turkey [April 11th-April18th 2021]

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I'll share this here:


Jon Knolle (Team SKS Sauerland NRW):

On Friday morning I started my trip to the Tour of Turkey. Since one part of our team is currently contesting the first races on Rhodes, the other half had prepared for a longer race-free time. The invitation to Turkey surprised us all. So it was now time to go back to racing mode.

Four of us flew from Düsseldorf to Istanbul. This is where the rest of the riders, who were leaving Rhodes at short notice, joined us. In the evening we took the connecting plane to Nevsehir in the heart of the Kapadokyens mountains. It started to snow on the drive to the hotel in the late evening. This morning the view from the window was frightening: a closed blanket of snow. Riding a bike was impossible. The start of the 1st stage became increasingly unlikely. The weather forecasts also gave no reason for hope. On the contrary: The next few days should be even worse.

Around noon, the expected news came: the stage was canceled. Most of the other teams were with us in the hotel. However, many of them, just like us, did not have any roles. So in the afternoon eating, putting your feet up, killing time were on the agenda.

Finally we got the first positive news: The 1st stage is to be moved to a section of the 2nd stage in Konya. The last 70 mostly flat kilometers should be driven here. The weather was supposedly better there. Everyone spontaneously packed their things and moved the transfer that was originally planned one day later.

In the early evening we took the bus towards Konya. 280 kilometers to the east. And then we understood why the race was canceled. After fifty kilometers we passed the race director's car, which was lying in the ditch. It was cold, incredibly windy and the view was only a few meters. A blizzard that I've never seen before. Several traffic jams due to accidents dragged on the journey.

After four hours of driving, we reached Konya late in the evening. We all hope that the shortened stage will take place tomorrow and that the tour can start as planned. The set 70 kilometers will be sporty.

Until tomorrow!
Your Jon
 
Was Tour of Turkey always so sprint friendly? I remember there being a lot of hills in the past. Now it seems that even desert races are more hilly.
It went through a period of being hilly, but there was a period where it was a very dull race largely along the coast. Look at 2010's results for example. Greipel, Greipel, Visconti, Visconti, Greipel, Greipel, Viviani, Greipel. And Viviani only won because Greipel crashed. 2012 they added the Elmalı MTF and 2013 they added Selcuk as a second uphill finish, both of which were rendered more exciting because of the small team winning the race with very limited support. They had some good editions in the mid 2010s, there was 2016 in particular when Caja Rural schooled everybody on echelon racing 101 on stage 2, then Lotto took everybody to the advanced class on stage 3, leading to four riders from each team in the top 10 (seriously look at this).
 

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