Italian U23 road champion Matteo Moschetti scored Polartec-Kometa's first win of the season Thursday at the Tour of Antalya, outsprinitng Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Konrad Gessner (Leopard Pro Cycling) on the rain-soaked finishing straight.
The 21-year-old now leads the overall in the four-stage 2.2. race in Turkey by four seconds over Mareczko and five seconds over Georg Zimmermann (Tirol Cycling Team), who benefited from time bonuses at intermediate sprints during the stage. Gessner is fourth, at six seconds.
Moschetti had to overcome several challenges during the 155.6km stage, including a crash with 40km to go that forced him to stop for a bike change and also to change his shoes after breaking a cleat. He regained the field in time to set up for the sprint and play off the Wilier Triestina train of Mareczko, who was fresh off of two stages wins at the Sharjah Tour in Dubai.
"This victory shows me that I have to trust a little more in myself," Moschetti said. "In the end we were Michele Gazzoli and me, but at 1,500 meters there was a crash and Michele broke his gear. I was left alone. I came through the last corner in the top 10, and when they were preparing the sprint for Mareczko, I decided to start it and I got it."
The win is the first victory in the inaugural season for Polartec-Kometa, a Continental team managed by the Alberto Contador Foundation.
Contador said it was "a pleasant surprise to win so soon, because it is a very young team with which we seek to train future champions, but without demanding immediate triumphs. Winning at the beginning of the season is a motivation for all and a joy for our sponsors, who are making a great effort to carry out this project".