Izmir, Turkey — Team Novo Nordisk’s sprinters were caught up in a crash in the final meters of the penultimate stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, preventing them from taking on the final sprint.
Saturday’s Stage 7 was a 136-kilometer race that started in the coastal city of Kusadasi. It was a day for the sprinters with only one categorized climb 60 km from the start. A three-man break escaped 10 km after the start and built a lead of nearly three minutes. The trio was caught inside the final 10 km heading into Izmir.
Team Novo Nordisk’s strategy for the day was for Martijn Verschoor to lead out Andrea Peron in the final sprint.
“Andrea and I had worked our way towards the front of the peloton and we were in good position,” Verschoor said. “I had just pulled off, leaving Andrea in a strong place to take on the finish when the crash happened.”
A crash meters from the finish took down many riders and fractured the sprinting peloton into sections. While all Team Novo Nordisk riders escaped without major injury, it meant their plan to earn another top 10 finish was thwarted.
Sunday’s final stage of the 50th edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey is a circuit race throughout downtown Istanbul. In last year’s race, Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias featured in the day’s breakaway. The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team hopes to have another memorable day, either in the breakaway or the final sprint.