Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) came within 500 metres of a stage win Wednesday at the Tour of Turkey, but the bunch swept up the 22-year-old Australian's late move just before the line to set up a sprint win for Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal).
McCarthy, who is currently fourth overall, took off with a small group on the last hill of stage 4. Valerio Agnoli (Astana Pro Team), Luis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Carlos Julian Quintero (Colombia) and Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka) joined the Tinkoff rider off the front.
With both McCarthy and Pauwels inside the top 10 overall, however, the move generated a concerted chase from the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team of race leader Davide Rebellin.
“We had a short climb with 10k to go where Jay went away with a dangerous group with several GC competitors as they crested the top,” said Tinkoff director Nicki Sørensen. “Together with another rider, he kept the peloton at bay at a time where the speed was really high. Unfortunately, they were caught with 500m to go, but Jay told me that it was really close and that he had a very good feeling out on the stage.”
Sørensen said both McCarthy and the team are optimistic about his chances for a good result when the race ends Sunday in Lausanne with a 17.3km individual time trial. The lumpy route tops out about two-thirds of the way through the course with the Rue de la Mercerie at 514 metres.
“He still has possibilities, especially on stage 6, which has a very interesting profile from his perspective,” Sørensen said.
The young rider's good form continues to be a bright spot for the team, which lost sprinter Michael Kolar over the the final climb before the finish and eventually had to settle for Daniele Bennati's ninth-place finish in the sprint.
“Kolar came really close to making it over the top but was dropped just before the summit, however we hadn’t expected him to be there either,” Sørensen said. “So Bennati participated in the sprint and was ninth. All in all, the riders are satisfied and I’m satisfied with their performance.
“Right now, we have a team that performs well in all sorts of terrain, and tomorrow we’re planning to support Kolar in the sprint once more,” he said. “Also Pavel Brutt is fielding a very strong shape at the moment, so I believe that it’s just a matter of time before he hits the right breakaway. No matter what, he’s a very important piece in the Tinkoff-Saxo puzzle right now.”