Under the shadow of the magnificent, centuries old Hagia Sophia
mosque, the final stage of the 1174 km long Tour of Turkey started it's way through the crowded streets of Istanbul.
Today's stage was special not only because it wound it's way through the sections of the city that are found on both European and Asian continents, but also because as the race is called the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, the President himself showed up on the podium.
In the end, the internationally acclaimed Pro Tour Rabobank team stole the day, while it was the scrappy, homegrown Konya Torku Seker Spor team that took the overall honors. For complete results, go to the Tour of Turkey
Final Stage Winner: Theo Boss, Team Rabobank
“It worked out perfectly. The crash was in the front and to the right so I moved to the left and did not have to brake much to slow down. My teammate Mark (Renshaw) came back to me and took me to the front. Greipel too did some work at the front. We had talked about the danger of going too early and at first I thought maybe we had, but in the end it was perfect.
I know I am fast, but still not a good cyclist – I’m not a good cyclist in general. The World Tour races are longer than 200 meters, but that is where I am the strongest. I need to improve more to be good rider for a whole World Tour race.
This morning we talked about the race and Mark knew that perhaps he could win the green jersey, but he said he wouldn’t jeopardize the stage win for it. There is no conflict between Mark and I when it comes to wins. I am not strong enough in the hills to win a sprint, but he is. If it is a flat and fast race that is where I am strong and we divide it up like this. If it’s windy and hard we work for him, but fast with no win, it is me - that was what we decided today. Like I said, I still need to improve as a cyclist to be able to pay him back some day.
Yes, today we wore skinsuits. As cyclists we are always trying to improve and we know Mark won by such a small margin wearing one so if we can gain a watt or two by wearing them, it is what we will do. At first people laughed when I used one, but I think it is the future.”
Overall Winner: Ivailo Gabrovski, Team Konya Torku
“This was not a surprise win. It took a lot of work and I have been racing for 18 years. All my life since I was 8, this is all I do, the same thing – it is the bike. I have no life. The other guys have girls, I only have my bike. This was a great victory for me, my team and Turkey and I am proud to help my team win a major race like this.”
Aside from the uniform bikes and SRAM Red drivetrains used by the Torku team, "hodge-podge" would be the best word to describe the rest of the component spec: everything from Campy and Zipp rims to Ritchey and FSA stems.
Team Astana took the Team GC honors.