Tour of Turkey Stage 6 Preview
Felix Grossschartner ruled the climb to Kartepe, although it was shortened, the Austrian kept under control on the climb, reeling back in attacks of Remco Evenepoel and Merhawi Kudus before distancing the latter in the final 200 meters. Conti finished second after topping up Kudus in the final meters, with Evenepoel and Pinto following, Grosschartner is also the new leader of the race obviously.
Positive: Grosschartner played it perfectly in the climb, he defended himself and attacked the lighter climber that were favoured in such a steep climb, he paced himself very well unlike Kudus and hence took a great win. Edgar Pinto also with a big result, as the first PCT rider coming in in a new PCT team also climbing to 5th overall.
Negative: Dimension Data. They paced the begining of the climb but O'Connor didn't even have a say in the stage, finishing far from the Top10.
And in the final stage the riders complete the whole loop of the Marmara sea to come complete the Tour back in Istambul, where it started. The stage, it isn't very hard, but it has a very sketchy finale.
It's the one that's been used in previous years, the final 1.5Km have a slight uphill gradient and a very technical finish. One that has seen rain and many crashes over the least few years. In any case it's a very hard finish, but adding rain to the mix can make this finish more a game of luck over good legs.
And yes, the last 1.5Km are extremely technical featuring 7 corners, more or less depending on who judges it, the first ramp comes at a rough 5% and the road then continues twisty with some dificult road conditions.
The wind will be moderately strong which could in normal conditions be dangerous as it will come as a crosswind close to the finish, but there have been other opportunities for it and no team has taken advantage of the conditions so there aren't many chances of it happening tomorrow.
It may influenciate the final sprint, there will be a headwind for the begining, the uphill part of the climb, and also in the finishing straight. This headwind in the finish will mean that the riders will have to time their sprint even better than they would in normal conditions.
Who can we expect to see?
With such a technical finale it won't be easy to pick out a winner, but there are lots of riders who can be in contention, the sprinters have been winning here but the puncheurs have been in the mix aswell, as Eduard Prades won last year's race with the bonification in this very same finish.
Sam Bennett won here last year with a solo attack, he has shown similar form this year and a win in the uphill finish on the second stage makes him the number one contender, although the team will also have to defend Grosschartner's lead.
Caleb Ewan won the other uphill finish so he comes in right after, he should like the finish, and for him it's a case of being in front at the right time. Fabio Jakobsen may benefit from the wind conditions as it may block out some attacks, he doesn't usually do so well in such finish but his team has the best leadout uncontestedly and that may be the crucial factor in for today.
There's Simone Consonni and Juan Sebastian Molano who have been riding strong in the sprints, both can also go from a little distance so they should be considered, as for Ryan Gibbons and Mark Cavendish they'll come as outsiders for the stage.
In PCT there's Juan José Lobato who rode very strongly two stages ago, tomorrow's finish again suits him very well and he's a rider who likes to attack on this type of finish, for a pure sprint no but he can surprise the field (although it wouldn't come as much of a surprise). There's also Eduard Grosu who loves technical finales, tomorrow is one of the few occasions where he's on his favourite terrain, both in a sprint or late attack.
Mauro Finetto and Jhonatan Restrepo have been riding very well, they should be more in the side of the attackers but they may be able to sneak out on the final kilometer. As for the overall contenders it isn't really hard enough for them, Grosschartner and Conti have been very strong and are explosive for such a finish, but putting them as favourites comes as a bit unfair.
⭐ Richeze, Molano, Finetto, Restrepo, Serrano, Pinto
Sam Bennett won in this very finish last year in convincing fashion, and he showed no signs of slowing down this year, he's been really strong this week and will be looking to continue Bora's streak of wins in April. Bennett to win the stage and Grossschartner to keep the lead.
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