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Tour of Turkey offers lead up to Grand Tours

2008 Tour of Turkey winner David Garcia Dapena

2008 Tour of Turkey winner David Garcia Dapena (Image credit: Tour of Turkey)

The Presidential Tour of Turkey, April 12 to 19, offers a lead up to the Grand Tours for riders opting out of the Ardennes Classics in Northern Europe. The stage race will see defending champion David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) take on cycling's top teams, including five ProTour level formations.

The race starts Sunday in Istanbul. It will travel along the Mediterranean Sea as it makes its way to the final stage in Alanya. It is the 45th year of the race, used to encourage tourism in the country.

ProTour teams Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Milram, Lampre-NGC and Fuji-Servetto will join 20 other Professional Continental and Continental teams. It will be an opportunity for many of the sprinters to test their legs ahead of the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, and the Tour de France, July 4 to 26.

Stages two, three, five and six are suitable days for the sprinters. The other stages will give opportunities for riders willing to go out on the attack to create time gaps in the overall classification.

There will be 160 riders from 23 different nations at the stage race. Eurosport will broadcast the stages live each day.