Shane Archbold brought the curtain down on his first World Tour race of the season in style, being part of a third stage win for BORA-Hansgrohe that also led to the overall victory at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey for Felix Großschartner.

Due to appalling weather in stage 5 from Bursa to Kartepe, the GC-shaping stage was shortened by just over 5km, however that didn’t stop the race from taking shape in the general classification battle.  The stage was flat all the way to the final climb of the day, with the last major climb averaging 9%.

The stage opened with a three-man breakaway going clear courtesy of Roger Kluge of Lotto Soudal, Robbe Ghy of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Euskadi’s Jose Viejo.  The trio gained a 7 minute advantage before the gap started to come down.  With 33km to go their advantage had come down to under 4 minutes while behind them UAE Team Emirates, Astana, Delko-Marseille Provence and BORA-Hansgrohe were all among the chasers in the peloton; with Shane Archbold notably near the front for what was not to be a sprinters’ stage.

On the run in to the climb the weather took a turn for the worst and the heavens opened; adding severe rain to the already very cold day of racing.  With just under 11km to go the last of the breakaway were brought back and the battle was on for the stage and potentially the race outright.  BORA-Hansgrohe made their way to the front of the race but were challenged for the lead by Dimension Data who progressively whittled down the leading group.

With 5.3km to go Valerio Conti of UAE Team Emirates, but he was countered by Remco Evenepoel of Deceuninck-Quick Step and Felix Großschartner of BORA-Hansgrohe.  Evenepoel had the lead by 10 seconds with 3.5km to go, but gradually Großschartner pulled back the gap and the four riders gapped the rest of the field.

With 2.5km to go Großschartner and Kudus attacked the rest and the two of them duelled it out for stage honours and potentially the race outright.  In the end it would come down to the final 200m where Großschartner launched a powerful finishing kick to take the stage 9 seconds clear of a resilient Valerio Conti who caught Kudus on the line.  The youthful Evenepoel gave further clarity of his potential with fourth place on the stage.

Stage results:

RankLast NameFirst NameCountryTeamResult
1GROSSSCHARTNERFelixAUT       BORA – HANSGROHE04h17’13”
2CONTIValerioITA       UAE TEAM EMIRATES04h17’22”
3KUDUSMerhawiERI       ASTANA PRO TEAM04h17’22”
4EVENEPOELRemcoBEL       DECEUNINCK  –  QUICK – STEP 04h17’29”
5PINTOEdgarPOR       W52 / FC PORTO04h17’53”
6POLANCJanSLO       UAE TEAM EMIRATES04h18’04”
7MURPHYKyleUSA       RALLY UHC CYCLING04h18’11”
8FINETTOMauroITA       DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE 04h18’16”
9VAN EMPELEtienneNED       NERI SOTTOLI SELLE ITALIA KTM04h18’21”
10BRITTONRobertCAN       RALLY UHC CYCLING04h18’21”
OTHER




91ARCHBOLDShaneNZL       BORA – HANSGROHE04h35’43”

The top four on the stage were the top 4 on GC with 1 day to go as Großschartner took a 19 second lead into the final stage, 172.4km from Sakarya to Istanbul and another chance for the sprinters.  Although expected to end in a sprint finish the final metres would challenge the legs on a cobbled rise to the end of this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

A breakaway of five riders went clear to shape the race early on with  Lorenzo Fortunato of Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM, Hayato Yoshida of Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè, Emerson Oronte of Rally UHC Cycling, Thimo Willems of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Ahmet Akdilek of Turkey forming the break of the day.  Behind them Deceuninck-Quick Step and Lotto Soudal had riders on the front of the peloton and with 29km to go the gap was at 1.24mins.

Shane Archbold, instrumental at the front of the race for his teammates, was playing a strong role at the back of the race this time, assisting Sam Bennett back to the peloton after the Irishman had been held up.  The BORA-Hansgrohe teammates were back in the main field with 26km to go and not a moment too soon as the pace in the peloton was rising.

The break were finally caught with just over 5km remaining, and from there it was Astana and Deceuninck-Quick Step who led the way towards the finish, the cobbled streets where Sam Bennett had previously triumphed.  The Irishman went for a long range attack with just over 1km to go and got a good advantage, but Caleb Ewan pegged him back and from there looked the stronger of the two as they went through the final turns.  Despite leading through them, the Australian had the power to accelerate away from an exhausted Bennett, with Jakobsen coming through to take second place behind Ewan and Bennett third.

The overall standings remained unchanged for the podium with Großschartner taking the title ahead of Conti and Kudus.  It was an excellent return to World Tour racing for Shane Archbold, whose team took three stage wins, the points jersey courtesy of Sam Bennett and the overall title.

Stage results:

RankLast NameFirst NameCountryTeamResult
1EWANCalebAUS       LOTTO SOUDAL04h10’41”
2JAKOBSENFabioNED       DECEUNINCK  –  QUICK – STEP 04h10’41”
3BENNETTSamIRL       BORA – HANSGROHE04h10’45”
4CONSONNISimoneITA       UAE TEAM EMIRATES04h10’45”
5ABERASTURI IZAGAJonESP       CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA04h10’49”
6SANZ UNZUEEnriqueESP       EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS04h10’49”
7NOPPEChristopheBEL       SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE04h10’49”
8GROSSSCHARTNERFelixAUT       BORA – HANSGROHE04h10’49”
9CIMAImerioITA       NIPPO – VINI FANTINI – FAIZANE’04h10’49”
10GROSUEduard-MichaelROU       DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE 04h10’49”
OTHER




107ARCHBOLDShaneNZL       BORA – HANSGROHE04h14’43”

General classification:

RankLast NameFirst NameCountryTeamResult
1GROSSSCHARTNERFelixAUT       BORA – HANSGROHE24h53’58”
2CONTIValerioITA       UAE TEAM EMIRATES24h54’17”
3KUDUSMerhawiERI       ASTANA PRO TEAM24h54’23”
4EVENEPOELRemcoBEL       DECEUNINCK  –  QUICK – STEP 24h54’51”
5PINTOEdgarPOR       W52 / FC PORTO24h54’57”
6POLANCJanSLO       UAE TEAM EMIRATES24h55’10”
7RESTREPO VALENCIAJhonatanCOL       MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM24h55’24”
8SERRANO RODRIGUEZGonzaloESP       CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA24h55’27”
9FINETTOMauroITA       DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE 24h55’29”
10MURPHYKyleUSA       RALLY UHC CYCLING24h55’40”
OTHER




106ARCHBOLDShaneNZL       BORA – HANSGROHE25h23’20”

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