Marmaris, Turkey — Team Novo Nordisk’s eight riders stayed safe on Stage 4 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey during a race where weather made the roads treacherous.
Wednesday’s stage began under sunny skies in Fethiye with a five-man breakaway escaping five kilometers into the 132-km race. As the peloton ascended the first and only categorized climb of the day, the skies opened up. The roads quickly became slippery and the descent proved too risky with several riders crashing. Race officials quickly neutralized the race to ensure rider safety.
After one restart, the roads remained slick and the race stopped again. Following a second restart under drier skies, the race got underway with the earlier break being granted their time gap.
“Stopping the race was a really smart decision by the race organizers,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor said. “It simply was too dangerous out there to race.”
The peloton experienced off and on rain showers throughout the rest of the race. All the escapees were caught on the descent into Marmaris and a sprint finished followed. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won his third stage of the race while Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron finished in the same time in 21st place.
“All the starting and stopping made it difficult to stay organized and carry out our race strategy,” Verschoor said. “Unfortunately when it came time for me to sprint, I just didn’t have anything left.”
Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) held on to the leader’s jersey for the second consecutive day, while Javier Megias remains the Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider in 17th, 1:46 behind Taaramae.
The eight-day Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey continues Thursday with a 183-km race that starts in Marmaris and features two categorized climbs and one intermediate sprint before finishing in Bodrum.