Meier 15th on queen stage in Turkey

Tue 28 Apr 2015

Canadian Christian Meier completed a solid ride on the queen stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, finishing in 15th position.

Backing up from a day on the front of the peloton yesterday in support of ORICA-GreenEDGE’s sprint stage ambitions, Meier again fulfilled his domestique duties in support of teammate Cameron Meyer.

When Meyer lost contact on the final climb the 30-year-old battled on, crossing the line two minutes 49seconds down on Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) who claimed the stage victory to move into the overall lead.

“The plan was to go with Cam and to try to save the other guys for the next days,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.

“Christian did a great job, he was all day there around Cam and Cam said half way he was good so we kept following the plan. In the end in the last four kilometres Cam said he had no more legs.

“These things happen that you make a plan for the race and they don’t pan out but Christian is really in very good form to back up the support role he has been playing these last days.”

The 165.3km third stage from Kemer to Elmali was the first of two mountaintop stage finishes in this year’s Tour of Turkey.

The head of the race changed shape on numerous occasions in the lead up to the final climb, originally forming as a group of five after 25km of racing, dropping to three before another seven bridged across to briefly make a lead group of ten.

Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff – Saxo), Youcef Reguigui (MTN – Qhubeka) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) continued the move as they entered the final 40km of racing, as their remaining breakaway companions dropped back to the peloton which had been significantly reduced by the first category one climb.

As the road began to rise for the final climb the trio’s day was ended by a motivated Astana Pro Team who led the chase to bring a group of 40-50 riders together for the last ascent.

Lluis Mas (Cara Rural – Seguros RGA) made the first attack, a solo effort nine kilometres from the finish, but it was short lived. A second move saw three riders off the front, with another duo in pursuit.

Heiner Parra (Cara Rural – Seguros RGA) was later dropped from the front three as Rebellin and Kristijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida) went on to deny any chase efforts.

Together until the final 100m, Durasek had nothing left in the tank to follow the last punch to the line by winner Rebellin.

Tomorrow’s stage four from Fethiye to Marmaris has a couple of climbs mid-race but is expected to result in a fairly large bunch sprint. ORICA-GreenEDGE will look to protect neo-pros Magnus Cort and Caleb Ewan.