10 Apr - 17 Apr 2022

TEAM Pro Team



Tour of Turkey opens with longest stage and fast sprint finale

The 2022 Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey began today with a tough 207km opener that included three categorized climbs before the finish and was peppered with numerous crashes before a fast and technical bunch sprint wrapped up the day’s proceedings.

Andrea Peron:

“It was a classic Tour of Turkey stage today, frantic and with quite a few crashes throughout the day and I’m happy that I managed to avoid them and stay upright. The pace was high throughout, and I’m pleased to have stayed up there over the final climb which was full gas and that’s a good sign for the week to come, but I lost touch just before the sprint.”

“It was a fast downhill run to the finish, and I ended up boxed in going into the last kilometer and with this final it was hard to move back up to the front to regain a good position for the sprint, but we’ve got seven more days of racing to come and overall, I’m happy to come through today in decent shape.”

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“It was a long stage to start the race with and it didn’t really let up after the break went. We wanted the guys to sit tight in the bunch with the intention of looking after Andrea, but unfortunately both Filippo and Umberto were both involved in crashes and slipped out of the group, but both are ok and that’s the main thing.”

“Andrea did well to stay among the leaders over the climbs at the end as some team’s tried to force the selection and then the descent to the finish was extremely fast, but Andrea, David, Peter and Sam all held on to finish in the bunch and we’re already focused on tomorrow now.”

Cross winds, crashes and another fast finale on stage two in Turkey

Another sprint stage unfolded on stage two of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, with a shorter 156km of racing and lots of strong wind to contend with over the closing kilometers. Team Novo Nordisk rallied around Italian sprinter Andrea Peron with the Padovan just outside the top ten in twelfth and hungry for more.

Hamish Beadle:

“Our early objective was to get in the breakaway today, but it didn’t happen so my role was to stick with Andrea and try to help him out at the end but it quite messy today with the cross winds and the last hour was really hard. I think we did ok, but we can do better, and we’re focused on making sure we do that in the days to come.”

Andrea Peron:

“The result was ok, but it could have been a lot better today. It was so windy with a few crashes again and I found it quite stressful avoiding all the carnage. The speed was insane at times today, you’d get held up by a crash, lose contact, chase back on and all at close to 60kph.”

“It was a crazy kind of day, and the final was at warp speed again, but we came a lot closer today and the guys tried their best to help me out with Hamish alongside me right into the last kilometer. We go again tomorrow, and it looks to be a flatter stage and another chance to try and break the top ten at the finish in Izmir.”

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“It was a lumpy stage again today but played out as we expected for another sprinters stage with breakaway going away pretty-easily and then Lotto and BikeExchange controlling the bunch with everyone thinking about the final sprint. Our initial plan was two pronged, we wanted to get in the breakaway, show ourselves and be visible before working for Andrea at the end.”

“We missed the breakaway, so we shifted our focus solely on to Andrea and we did much better today, with Hamish working hard and staying up there alongside Andrea until the very end and we were only just outside the top ten. Getting closer!”

Poli makes the break on stage three in Turkey

The sprinters again came to the fore on stage three of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey with a flat run from Cesme to Izmir, but only after Verona native Umberto Poli animated the early breakaway for Team Novo Nordisk.

Umberto Poli:

“We managed to go clear after around 10km of racing, there had been some really early attacks, but nothing was sticking, and I managed to follow the right moves to get in the breakaway. It’s a bit like cat and mouse at times and I’m happy that I chose the right wheel and the right time to go.”

“It was quite a short day, but fast and our group kept getting smaller until there were only four of us left up against the sprinters team’s trying to reel us in and we knew that it would be very unlikely that we made it and once I dropped back into the bunch I got lucky again…there was a pretty big crash and thankfully I was in the right place to just miss it.”

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“Today was definitely a stage with two sides for us and we started really well with Umberto following the early attacks and getting into the breakaway. That was the first objective and Umberto was alive and wide awake when the move went. The group worked well together, and Umberto was one of the last guys to be caught, but on a short, flat stage today it was always going to be a day for the sprinters.”

“That was our second objective, but we suffered some misfortune at the end when Andrea punctured inside the last 4km and that was that. It’s a shame because Filippo did fantastic work bringing Andrea up to fifth wheel with 5km to go and it was probably the best position we had been in so far, but c’est la vie. It was totally out of our hands and can happen to anyone, one thing is for sure though, we ‘ll try again tomorrow.”

Photos: Mario Stiehl

Summit finish in Manisa splits field on stage four in Turkey

The complexion of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey changed on stage 4 with the first summit finish of the race coming at the end of 156km from Izmir to Manisa.

Topping out at an altitude of 1,400m, the finish in Spil Milli Park combined difficulty with beautiful scenery as experienced Hungarian Peter Kusztor did his best to stay with the leading group but the high pace saw most of the bunch shelled early on as the overall contenders lit the touch paper.

David Lozano:

“Our objective was to try and get in the breakaway today and then work to look after Peter and it was Sam and myself who were tasked to try and get in the break. We tried a few attacks, one after the other to try and get something going but we weren’t in the right place at the right time today and we missed the move when it went.”

“After the break I went, I thought ‘ok, I can stay with Peter’ and we try to do our best on the climb, but then a mechanical forced me into bike change just before the climb and that was it. I couldn’t get back into the group in time. The climb was hard, nearly 14km at 7% and the road surface wasn’t the best, so we rode our tempo up to the line.”

General manager Vassili Davidenko:

“It was a steady drag out into the mountains today, one of those days when you can see where you’re going but don’t seem to be getting there until right at the end and we knew it would be hard climb up to the line. The ascent up to Spil Milli Park was a real climb on a tough road surface and ended up being potentially race defining as the GC contenders set a brutal pace and it was too much for us to stay with the leading group.”

“Nevertheless, the guys tried their best and Peter fought to hang in as long as possible, but the group got small pretty quickly with every acceleration riders were getting dropped, so it was important for us to make it to the line in one good shape and reset for tomorrow.”

Photo: Mario Stiehl

Sprinters return on stage five in Turkey as Peron breaks into top ten

A rolling first half of stage five of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey from Manisa to Ayvalik saw the early breakaway escape over the only climbs of the day before the peloton left it very late it all back together. Catching the last escapee inside the final 2km before another crash disrupted the finale with Andrea Peron finally breaking into the top ten.

Andrea Peron:

“It was another windy day, but we were ready for it and there was only one echelon that formed behind the initial breakaway, and we were positioned really well so we made the split. At one point I thought there may be only be fifty guys that make it to the line, but things settled down and it all came back together.”

“The sprint was hectic again and thankfully the crash happened behind. I was positioned really well with 150m to go, and I felt good, but a guy to the right of me dropped his chain and moved over as I was passing so I had to shift my line. But I’m happy to finally make it into the top ten, it was one of our goals for the race and I’m hungry for more now.”

General manager Vassili Davidenko:

“No surprises today and the stage went pretty much as planned for us, it was another windy one and we were wide awake when the echelon formed and our positioning remained good throughout the stage, keeping our chances alive for Andrea at the end.”

“Top ten is great for us, we had that objective at the start of the race and kept coming close, so to achieve the result is satisfying, but we need to do it again on the days to come. Andrea did a good job in the sprint and managed to position himself well to follow the right wheels, it wasn’t an easy finish and I’m happy with how it went today.”

Long windy day takes its toll on stage six in Turkey

The second 200km stage of this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey witnessed the wind toy with the bunch again before a challenging technical and lumpy finale proved too much to contend with after another long day in the saddle under the Turkish sun.

Peter Kusztor:

The whole day was hard really. At the start we tried to get into the breakaway and then the climb came which was around 10km and I found that hard and could feel the initial efforts.”

“After the climb we tried to go in the breakaway again. Taking it in turns to have a go, but that wasn’t easy because the race was already split into two or three groups on the climb and the bunch was coming back together into a headwind. It was tough.

“Then after all our efforts the break finally went without us. The wind wreaked havoc again and there were different points with echelons, and it was particularly difficult going over the bridge. But we did our best to keep Andrea in a good position and it came back together for the final, which was technical, undulating and in the end too tough after 200km and we finished in the bunch.”

General manager Vassili Davidenko:

“We tried repeatedly to get someone up the road in the breakaway today, but it was a challenge. The stage was already a long, tough one and then you factor in the strong wind, and it becomes a whole new level of difficulty.”

“Even considering the tough conditions we did a good job as a team today and showed a lot of team spirit. The guys tried their best to keep Andrea in the first group every time a split formed, but the finish was just a bit too much today and after the great work the guys put in for yesterday’s top ten there were some tired legs out there.”

Late climbs and late attacks wrap up stage seven in Turkey

The penultimate stage of this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey rolled out from historic Gallipoli and inland towards Istanbul and onto a pair of second category climbs before climaxing in late attacks form the GC contenders with a reduced group going all the way to the line.

Experienced former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor tried a courageous move to bridge across to the early breakaway, but the rolling roads went against him and despite his best efforts Kusztor didn’t quite make it and was caught by the peloton.

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“I really tried hard to make it across and at one point came within 30seconds, but the undulating roads and high speed were slightly too much. I kept a good pace and tried to focus on a concentrated effort, like a TT but lost it on the climb.”

“It would have been great for us to get up there again to show our jersey and my kids are watching on the TV at home and I wanted to them to be able to say ‘look, there’s Daddy!’ but it wasn’t to be today. We’ve got one more stage to go to try something.”

General manager Vassili Davidenko (RUS):

“We wanted to get more out of today and Peter put in a good effort to try and make it across to the break, but it didn’t happen, and it was our objective to be in there. We needed to be more alive to the early attacks because with today’s profile it was always going to be tough to do something in the final and it wasn’t a surprise when it was a reduced group that contested the stage.”

“One more stage to come and it will be hard and fast on the circuits in Istanbul. It would be great to get something out of tomorrow, one more top ten stage result would be ideal.”

Tour of Turkey wraps early as rain causes last stage to be cancelled

Seven days of challenging, windy racing came to a close in Istanbul today as the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey finished earlier than expected with an unfortunate halt to proceedings as the final stage was cancelled during the opening kilometers after rain brought about some dangerous conditions on the slippery road surface.

Rider safety rightly came first and after a big crash in the first 20km the organizers decided it was better to neutralize the last day of racing. Team Novo Nordisk come away with two of their main objectives achieved as breakaways, close calls and a top ten for Andrea Peron on stage five meant for an interesting and ultimately successful week for the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team.

Andrea Peron:

“After about 20km of racing today, it started raining and the road just became like ice. About 40 guys went down and the organizers neutralized the race immediately. There’s no way we could have raced safely on that surface in the wet, so they made the right call.”

“The Tour of Turkey is one of the most important races on our calendar and I think we have had a pretty good week this time around. We had our goals to get in the breakaway and achieve a top ten stage result which we did, so we can go away happy and look to carry some forward momentum with us into the Tour of Greece which comes next.”

Filippo Ridolfo:

“It’s been a great experience for me racing as a first-year pro at the Tour of Turkey, this is the longest race I’ve ever done, and I have to say it was very hard. The first three or four stages were ok, but then the fatigue set in, and I found it harder and harder to recover but it is all kilometers in the bank as they say, and I will be stronger from this experience.”

“I still tried to help the team every day and I think I’m adapting more and more to this level. It’s so much higher than U23 and even though there are less attacks and the racing is more controlled; you need to use more power all the time and in the beginning, it was definitely a shock to the system. I really enjoy it though and to be able to come here to Turkey and every day show what’s possible with diabetes by racing in the TNN jersey is a real privilege and a great motivator to keep going every day.”