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Polish riders mourn President's death at Tour of Turkey

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Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)

Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and teammate Tejay Van Garderen on the podium

André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and teammate Tejay Van Garderen on the podium
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)

Polish time trial national champion Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) finished third in the individual time trial opener at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Istanbul on Sunday but missed the podium presentation as a mark of respect for the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash.

Bodnar's absence meant HTC-Columbia riders - stage winner Andre Greipel and second placed Tejay van Garderen - were the only two athletes at the ceremony. Bodnar didn’t want to take part in any kind of celebration in the wake of Kaczynski's death in a plane crash in western Russia on Saturday.

To pay tribute, all Polish riders engaged in the Tour of Turkey wore a black arm band during the stage. Bodnar and Maciej Paterski from Liquigas, plus the eight riders from the Polish CCC Polsat team.

"We’re all devastated," said CCC Polsat team manager Piotr Wadecki. Some of them made their way to Turkey the day before the accident, while others learnt the news as they arrived in Istanbul.

Bodnar’s elder brother Lukasz was the second best Polish rider in the prologue in Istanbul, finishing in 43rd position.

It's unlikely that UCI commissaires will apply any fine to Bodnar for missing the presentation.