The final climb on the queen stage of the 2019 Tour of Turkey has been shortened due to heavy snowfall in Kartepe, where stage 5 is set to conclude on Saturday.
Kartepe literally means 'snowy hill' in Turkish, and there has been significant snowfall in the area in recent days, making it impossible to scale the full 16-kilometre final climb.
After doing their best to clear the roads, the organisers have decided to cut the final four kilometres to the top, reducing the climb to 12 kilometres. The steepest gradients, which enter the double digits, will still feature.
The decision was made alongside team and rider representatives under the UCI's Extreme Weather Protocol. Decueninck-QuickStep's Brian Holm and Eros Capecchi were representing the teams and riders, respectively, and had a hand in deciding the best course of action.
"The uphill finish to Kartepe today has been cut by 4km due to snowy conditions at the top, following the weather protocol with Brian Holm and Eros Capecchi representing the teams and riders respectively, so the final climb will be 12km long," read a statement from the race organisers on Saturday.
After four sprint stages, the Tour of Turkey shifts gears with the Kartepe summit finish, which, despite its curtailment, will still be decisive in the battle for the overall title. Despite an early category-3 climb, Kartepe is the only major difficulty on the 160-kilometre stage, which starts in Bursa. The Tour of Turkey will conclude in Istanbul on Sunday.
Ahmet Orken, a rider for the Turkish national team, posted a video of the conditions on social media.
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