Tour of Turkey organisers look to rescue stage 1 with shortened sprint stage

Tour of Turkey
(Image credit: Tour of Turkey)

After initially cancelling stage 1 of the Tour of Turkey due to heavy snowstorms the race organisers have put together a new and shorter route to replace their previous plans for Sunday's opening stage. 

Weather permitting, the riders will now take part in a 74km stage that starts and finishes in Konya, with a third category climb included in a new-look profile that looks set to finish in a sprint.

All the new plans are still to be rubber-stamped and the weather remains a real concern with a 3° Celsius maximum temperate, as well as further rain and snow forecast overnight. Riders and the teams have been briefed.

On Saturday, news broke that Sunday's first stage had been completely scrapped after heavy snow covered the hills between Nevşehir and Ürgüp in central Turkey. The race didn't take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday's original 167.3km stage was due to climb up to 1,400 meters five times from a start point of 1,200m before finishing in Ürgüp, but the weather conditions made racing impossible.  

The reformatted stage 1 is set to start at 14:30 local time and includes a 4km neutralized zone. There is an intermediate sprint at 36km with the third category climb coming at the 52km mark. The final 3km of the stage is relatively flat. 

The 2021 edition has attracted three WorldTeams: Astana-Premier TechDeceuninck-QuickStep, and Israel Start-Up Nation, with Fabio Jakobsen making his return to racing after his terrible Tour de Pologne crash, alongside teammate Mark Cavendish. 

Among the 14 ProTeams are Alpecin-Fenix, Bingoal WB, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Delko, Rally Cycling, and Team Novo Nordisk. Among the eight Continental teams is a European stop for US-based Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling.

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