Meier top placed ORICA-GreenEDGE rider on mountaintop finish in TurkeyFri 1 May 2015
Canadian Christian Meier was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s best-placed rider on the mountain top finish of stage six at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey today.
The Australian outfit went into this year’s event without an overall consideration after Adam Yates, who won this stage on the way to overall victory last year, withdrew ahead of the race due to injury.
Meier and 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour champion Cameron Meyer were given the opportunity to contest the stage and were well positioned ahead of the final ascent.
In an eventual climbing display, Pello Bilbao (Caja Rurak – Seguros RGA) won the stage, Meier and Meyer finishing 28th and 31st respectively. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida) managed sixth to move into the overall lead.
“We went into the day giving both Christian and Cameron the freedom to ride for a result,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.
“The pace was really fast on that final climb, they both tried but I think the results show how tough it was.”
52km were covered in the first hour of racing as a furious peloton, led by race leaders CCCC Sprandi Polkowice, refused to allow any riders to break off the front.
Eventually Malcolm Rudolph (Drapac Professional), Jarl Salomein (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Roy Jans (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Ahmet Akdilek (Torku Sekerspor) were allowed free and remained at a comfortable distance until the peloton again shut them down moving into the final climb.
As the bunch dwindled from behind in the initial stages of the climb, the attacks began from the front, Belbao successful in escaping with Miguel Lope (Astana Pro Team) to ride to victory by three seconds from his companion.
18seconds behind, Durasek crossed the line with no sight of race leader David Rebellin who struggled on to finish over a minute off the pace and surrender the race lead.
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage features two climbs, including a category one, which could see the race break apart or result in a reduced sprint.