46th Presidential Cycling Tour to host athletes from 11 countries

A total of 128 athletes with 16 teams from 11 countries have been announced to participate in the 46th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, which is set to take place from April 11 to 18.
Included on the calendar of the International Cycling Union (UCI), the tour has been upgraded to the 2.HC category, which denotes a multi-day beyond categorization race, and is now one of 17 prestigious races in the same category.

The tour was being held in category 2.1 for the past two years, and it hosted professional and semiprofessional athletes, while this year’s event will only feature professional athletes after being upgraded to the HC category. American Andre Greipel, who currently holds the top spot on the UCI World Ranking list, Italian Daniele Bennati, who won outstanding success in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain, and Peter Sagan are among the athletes in the competition.

Turkey will be represented by one team composed of eight athletes, while 15 other teams will arrive from Spain, Italy, the US, the UK, Poland, France, Ireland, Brazil, Holland and Austria.

The tour, consisting of eight stages, will begin with the İstanbul Prolog on April 11 at Sultanahmet Square located in the historical peninsula and end in Asia Minor in Antalya’s Alanya on April 18. The entire crew will fly to İzmir (40-minute flight) following the prolog competition of 5.8 kilometers and will ride to Kuşadası after a one-hour drive. The tour will resume with the Kuşadası-Turgutreis stage on April 12 and will continue with tours in Bodrum-Marmaris, Marmaris-Pamukkale, Denizli-Fethiye, Fethiye-Finike, Finike-Antalya and Antalya-Alanya.

For the first time in the tour’s history, this year’s event also includes routes with long climbs between Pamukkale and Marmaris and Fethiye in order to make the competition more challenging.

The athlete achieving the best time at the end of all stages will receive the title of the competition and a turquoise jersey. Also, at the end of each stage the best climber will get a red jersey and the best sprinter will get a green jersey. The athletes will also compete for the special Turkish Beauties Sprint award, collecting points that are placed on their routes in historic, cultural and natural spots, including Ephesus, Aspendos, Demre and Ölüdeniz. The leader of this classification will wear a white jersey.

A total of 160,000 euros will be distributed to the most successful athletes.

Having attended the opening or closing ceremony of the past two year’s events, President Abdullah Gül is expected to attend the award ceremony at the end of the final stage in Alanya.

Like the previous year, the tour will be aired live on over 150 television channels in 123 countries in cooperation with Eurosport and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) in HD format.

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