Patrick Bevin has finished fourth in stage 3 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.  In the penultimate World Tour stage race of 2018, Bevin called on his sprint finish to arrive home behind Sam Bennett of BORA-Hansgrohe who took his second stage win in a row.

It’s been a big season for Patrick Bevin but this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey has finally rolled around and that brings the curtain down on what has been an extremely successful season for him.  Racing for BMC Racing, stage 3 turned out to be Bevin’s 21st top ten finish in all races in the season; a season that has included team time trial wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de France, time in the blue leader’s jersey in the former, and the points classification win at the Tour of Britain.

The 137.2km stage from Fethiye to Marmaris took in a couple of rolling sections and two reasonably challenging climbs almost bookending the stage; with the last peaking 16.2km from the finish.  A group of seven riders broke clear to form the break of the day, with Kenneth van Rooy of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Muhammed Atalay and Ferit Samli of Turkey, Mads Wurtz Schmidt of Katusha-Alpecin, Aldemar Reyes of Manzana-Postobon, and Fernando Barcelo and Benat Txoperena of Euskadi-Murias forming the move.

With just under 80km to go the gap to the peloton was sitting at 3 minutes as Bahrain-Merida, UAE Team Emirates, BORA-Hansgrohe and Astana all contributed riders to the chase effort.  Having brought the break back to 1.30mins with 60km remaining the gap was allowed to grow again so as not to catch the group too soon.

Eventually the gap dropped to 1 minute with 30km to go as the tempo really began to climb from the peloton.  The seven leaders remained together throughout, functioning well and resisting the temptation to attack one another until Katusha-Alpecin’s Schmidt went up the road, finally fracturing the break as the gap continued to drop.

With 20km to go the gap to the three leaders, Schmidt, Aragon and Ortega, was down to 44 seconds.  UAE Team Emirates were pushing the tempo on the front of the race, with Bahrain Merida in tow, but it was Astana who led the catch to the breakaway with 12.7km remaining.

The climbing in the latter section of the stage continued to draw out a couple of attacks though, and it was Katusha-Alpecin who were next to marshal their forces at the head of affairs as riders dropped off the pace like flies under the pressure exerted on the front of the field.  Despite the best intentions of the breakaway riders though nothing Ould quite stick; although a late attack from Caja Rural briefly threatened to upset the sprinters.

However, with 4km to go order had been somewhat resumed for the sprinters as Bahrain Merida took over on the front.  Patrick Bevin was well positioned on the right side of the road and about 8 riders back with 3km to go.  He lost his teammate at this point but had been well positioned in the run up to the sprint and from here had to rely on his ability to hold his place before the launch for home.

At 2km to go Bevin had dropped back a little but remained in contention as UAE Team Emirates surged to the front again.  Bevin had Jean-Pierre Drucker for company at the sharp end of the race but it was the wheel of Sam Bennett that Drucker sought with 1km to go.  The Kiwi had a little work to do in the run in to the finish, starting the sprint from quite a way back.  

Quick-Step Floors eventually opened up the sprint with 300m to go as Patrick Bevin suddenly found himself on the front just a fraction too early.  But once Sam Bennett opened up his sprint he and Max Richeze of Quick-Step Floors pulled away, with the Irishman just denying the Argentinian in the finale as John Degenkolb took third place.

Bevin’s sprint was a good one as he pressed on despite being passed by Ahmet Örken of Turkey; who faded just slightly in the last few metres.  The result moved the Kiwi up 23 places to 26th overall, 26 seconds behind overall leader Bennett.  Tomorrow’s stage to Selcuk will doubtless cause a shake up in the general classification with a 3.9km climb to the finish averaging 8.4% in gradient set to bring the climbers to the fore.

 

Stage results:

Rank Last Name First Name Country Team Result
1 BENNETT Sam IRL        BORA – HANSGROHE 03h16’27”
2 RICHEZE Maximiliano Ariel ARG        QUICK – STEP FLOORS 03h16’27”
3 DEGENKOLB John GER        TREK – SEGAFREDO 03h16’27”
4 BEVIN Patrick NZL        BMC RACING TEAM 03h16’27”
5 ORKEN Ahmet TUR        TURKEY 03h16’27”
6 GARCIA CORTINA Ivan ESP        BAHRAIN – MERIDA 03h16’27”
7 LUTSENKO Alexey KAZ        ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h16’27”
8 HAAS Nathan AUS        TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 03h16’27”
9 KASPERKIEWICZ Przemyslaw POL        DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM 03h16’27”
10 ARISTI GARDOKI Mikel ESP        EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY – MURIAS 03h16’27”
OTHER          
84 MITRI James NZL        BURGOS – BH 03h17’45”

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