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Cavendish Still Sprint King

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Apr 26, 2015 – Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) won Stage 1 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, Alanya – Alanya (145 km) today. He took the first race leader’s Turquoise Jersey.

Tour of Turkey

The stage unfolded like this: within ten kilometres of the start, five riders formed the first breakaway of the 2015 TUR: Mario Costa (Lampre – Merida, wearing dossard 22), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CFS, 78), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural, 96), Adam Phelan (Drapac, 121) and Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188). The peloton, led by Lotto Soudal, Etixx – Quick Step and Torku Seker Spor allowed the attackers to build a maximum lead of no more than 3m 35s.

Federico Zurlo secured a second podium appearance after the stage to receive the White Jersey, sponsored by Vestel, as the overnight leader in the Beauties of Turkey competition.

On the finish line, as Greipel raised an arm in protest at a possible balking, Cavendish beat Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge) and Nicola Ruffoni (Lampre – Merida) to the finish line and celebrated his first victory of the event and his fifth TUR stage win in total.

POST-STAGE COMMENTS:

Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step), Winner, Stage One
Stage finish: “I like it here in Turkey, and I have a great team here to support me. Even Tom Boonen was working for me towards the end of the stage. I didn’t see anything particularly dangerous today. I know from past experience that, after a race, if it’s tense and dangerous in the final, you want to take it out on someone, but I didn’t see there was anything bad in the finish.”

Dedication? (Cavendish’s wife Peta is pregnant with their second child) “No special dedication to my family today. The best dedication to my family is to win more. My little girl (Delilah Grace) understands cycling and says, “Good luck, daddy, go faster”, although she doesn’t understand when I don’t win.”

Closest rival today: “It’s the first time I raced with Caleb Ewan. I think he is good, although, to me, he’s just another competitor who I try and beat. I don’t know if Orica Green-Edge have enough faith him him because they didn’t put anyone at the front, and it was a shame for him because he was close today. However, there have been many, many people in my career who have beaten me once, then got a good contract.”

Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge), 2nd in Stage One:
Racing against Cavendish: ’It feels little bit surreal. It’s kind of weird racing him, I guess. I was always watching him growing up, and now actually racing him, and not just racing with him, but, you know, when you’re right up there sprinting against him, it’s a pretty surreal feeling. I’m not happy with second, though. I think, if had a better run, I could almost beat him. I came from way too far back. It was really close on the line. If I had a better run, it could have been a bit closer.’

Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF), 3rd in Stage One:
‘I hoped to do well today. I’m happy with my third place. I am always trying to improve and I know that I can do even better. «In the last two circuits, my team-mates protected me well. I had to come from a long way back but this performance gives me great hope for the rest of the TUR.

Final 10kms of Stage 1

Results Stage 1:
1. Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step)
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge)
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Lampre – Merida)
4. Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)
5. Theo Bos (MTN – Qhubeka)

General Classification:
1. Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step)
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge)
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Lampre – Merida)
4. Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)
5. Theo Bos (MTN – Qhubeka)