The Calm Before the Tour of Turkey Queen Stage StormThu 1 May 2014
It was another low profile day for ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage five of the Tour of Turkey as the peloton raced the tour’s longest and surprisingly tough stage from Marmaris to Turgutreis. In past editions of the Turkish tour, both escapees and strong sprinters have won this lumpy stage. Today the sprinters had their way as Elia Viviani (Cannondale) crossed the line triumphantly ahead of Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Adam Yates finished safely in the bunch thanks to the work done by his teammates. The overall classification remains unchanged as Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis) continues to sit 6” ahead of the British neo-pro. Romain Hardy (Cofidis) is in third overall at 38”.
“Today went really well for us,” said Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean. “ Our priority of the day was to protect Adam and that came off without a hitch.”
On the climb out of Marmaris, an early break of nine riders escaped from the field. The escape worked well together to gain a maximum advantage of four minutes on the field. Just inside the final hour of racing, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step took control of the stage, bringing the leaders within reach before the finish line. In the closing kilometres, several counter-attacks kept the peloton on high alert over the final climb, but it was gruppo compacto for the finale.
Based on the profile, the stage wasn’t expected to be a difficult day in the saddle. By race end, the peloton had experienced a much harder than anticipated . The combination of high speeds, rolling terrain and poor quality roads took their toll on the peloton.
“As we approached the finish, Quick-Step was trying to reel back the break for Cav,” Dean explained. “And because it was quite lumpy at the end, riders were attacking as they saw an opportunity to make a move on GC. The day took a lot out of the guys by the end of it.”
With overall ambitions in mind, ORICA-GreenEDGE dutifully kept Yates safe in the bunch as the lead out trains and sprinters flexed their muscles for the field sprint in Turgutreis. Tomorrow’s stage will be the last day for the overall contenders to make their move on the overall. The Australian outfit sees the stage as a chance to help young Yates test his fortitude and strength against his main rivals.
“The guys did a good job of looking after Adam today,” said Dean. “Tomorrow we are going to race more aggressively to help Adam before the final three kilometre climb. We are looking forward to seeing how the stage unfolds.”
The Australian outfit will take on the challenge with only five riders as Mitch Docker withdraws from Tour of Turkey ahead of stage six. Nursing a minor injury, Docker will be going home as a precautionary measure to rest before his Giro d’Italia start next week.