Elmali, Turkey — Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias climbed to a 17th place finish Tuesday on the Queen Stage at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.
The 185-kilometer stage was the most challenging day of the race, featuring three categorized climbs. The race began in the coastal city of Finike and looped along the Turkish coastline before heading up into the mountains. A six-man breakaway escaped on the second climb of the day and gained a gap of more than four minutes before being brought back on the final climb.
The summit finish on Gogubeli Mountain Pass splintered the peloton and an elite group of 20 riders, including Megias, emerged. Megias attacked with three kilometers to go, but the gradient proved to be too much and the chasers reeled him back.
“I got a little too aggressive and went a little too early, but I was glad to see my form is there,” Megias said. “Nothing helps build your confidence than comparing yourself against the best riders in the world and seeing you can be competitive.”
Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, Solutions Credit) and Adam Yates (Orica GreenEDGE) responded with their own attack and the duo earned a gap of more than 30 seconds. Taaramae soloed to the win, with Megias finishing 1:46 behind. The 30-year-old Spaniard is Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider overall in 18th place.
“Javier showed that his form is growing, and I hope to see him stay competitive on the climbs,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “Overall today was a good test to see how we could do in the mountains and Javier proved he’s got the legs to race.”
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the 50th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Wednesday with a 132-km race from Fethiye to Marmaris.
“I’ve been proud with how the team has been racing so far this week,” Davidenko said. “It’s great to see us competitive up against World Tour teams. Hopefully we’ll keep performing at or above this level.”