Rally Cycling’s Dutch sprinter Arvid de Kleijn won a bunch sprint on the opening stage of the Tour of Turkey on Sunday with veteran British rider Mark Cavendish finishing fourth. After an unseasonable snowstorm Saturday organizers announced they would have to cancel the opener, a mountainous run to 1500m altitude at Urgup in the center of the country. But they then salvaged it by switching venue and staging a short, flat, inner-city 72.4km race 300km away.
The urban run was won in 1:35:38 by de Kleijn, who came from behind to overtake Kristoffer Halvorsen of Norway on the line, while Eduard Grosu of Romania took third as Cavendish eased off the pace when he saw he wouldn’t win.
The stage marked the return to competition of Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen eight months after a high-speed crash in Poland in which he sustained head fractures and lost all his teeth. He was given a warm send off at the start line with a standing ovation from his emotional team-mates.
Cavendish, 35, was looking for his own first win in three years, and is racing alongside Jakobsen in the Deceuninck Quick-Step team. The 24-year-old Dutchman finished safely and was seen grinning broadly after the finish line.
Monday’s second stage is a 144.9km circuit that will begin and end in Konya.
|1||DE KLEIJN Arvid||Rally Cycling||1:35:38|
|2||HALVORSEN Kristoffer||Uno-X Pro Cycling Team||0:00|
|4||CAVENDISH Mark||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:00|
|6||GREIPEL André||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini