Local hopes of an overall victory in the Tour of Turkey took a boost on Saturday (April 27) when Mustafa Sayar retained the leader’s blue jersey on the 125 kilometer stage from Kusadasi to Ismir.
Sayar holds a 41 second lead over Eritrea’s Natnael Berhane with Yohan Bagot of France third a further three seconds behind.
There was embarrassment for the South African MTN team when rider Dennis van Niekerk was knocked off his bike by a team support car after stopping by the side of the road. Van Niekerk resumed riding and finished the stage in 66th place.
A mid-peloton pile up on a hairpin bend towards the end of the stage left riders and their machines sprawling across the road, blocking the route as the leaders sped towards the finish and resulting in all the cyclists being awarded the same time, preserving Sayar’s overall lead from the previous stage.
German Marcel Kittel outmuscled the other sprinters to win the stage by two lengths from Italian Andrea Guardini and Argentina’s Ariel Maximiliano Richeze.
Sunday’s (April 28) final stage takes the riders on a 121-kilometre loop around Istanbul.