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King Kong Tackles Turkey

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Apr 29, 2015 – German sprint ace Andre Greipel recorded his 10th career stage win in the Tour of Turkey on Wednesday as he prevailed in a bunch sprint finish to the fourth stage of this year’s renewal, a 132 kilometers ride from Fethiye to Marmaris.

AFP/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad

Veteran Italian Davide Rebellin, who won the third stage at the venerable age of 43, retained the overall race lead. Greipel finished ahead of Italy’s Daniele Colli and Daniele Ratto. Rebellin, who in 2004 was the first rider to sweep the Ardennes Classics treble of Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, holds a seven second lead on Kristijan Durasek and 50 over Eduardo Sepulveda.

The race continues on Thursday with the 159.9 km fifth stage between Mugla and Pamukkale.

Post Race comments courtesy of the Tour of Turkey:

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), winner, stage four
Q: How was today different from yesterday?
A: The first two days are spent cruising around. Everyone is fresh at the finish and everyone can sprint. But I like this kind of finish. It’s hard just before the finish. We had a good plan, and I think it’s a deserved win.
Q: How important was your team today?
A: The breakaway was 5 or 6 guys, and they had a big gap, but the team was pulling to keep them withing striking distance. De Gendt was one of the riders who worked hard until 2 km to go, then Adam Hansen did a big pull to bring the attackers back, and Jasper de Buyst set me up for the sprint.
Q: How frustrating was riding the TUR with injury last year?
A: I wasn’t able to take part in the sprints last year, and it’s hard for a sprinter to hold back in the sprint.
Q: How good is your lead-out man today, De Buyst?
A: He has a good eye as he comes from the track, so he’s a really good guy for the future, and I hope I can continue working with him in the future.
Q: How did you get out of the box with 500m to go?
A: I just tried to have a free wheel, to set my sprint. I had to go early, but it was a good, long, fast sprint,
Q: What are your goals for the second half to TUR?
We’ll see day by day. It’s a bit harder in the second part than it used to be. It all depends on the breakaways.

Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step)
Q: How much more difficult was today’s stage than yesterday?
A: We knew it was going to be hard. The racing over the last climb was harder than last year. Perhaps we were too motivated. The team pulled to close the gap in the second from last climb, and then, in the last 5-600m of the final climb, riding into the headwind, we just missed it. Perhaps we were over confident, pushing more than 300W in the 10km before the climb. But that’s life, we gave it our best shot.
Q: What are your targets for the rest of this TUR?
A: Tomorrow’s sprint, and then we have a good team for the last stage, which has changed for last year. It suits us down to the ground. I’m here to pick up stages and build my form.

Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), race leader overall
Q: How was your day?
A: Relatively calm, although there is always tension in the group in stage races, especially when a sprint is imminent. There was some wind, so we worked at the front in order to avoid surprises.
Q: On the last climb, Jay McCarthy, 4th in GC, attacked. What were your thoughts?
I didn’t want to follow his attack because I didn’t want to waste too much energy. I knew that it would be hard for him to get there, riding into the wind on long, straight roads. I knew that Greipel would stay at the front with his team, and that a sprint was probably inevitable.
Q: How do explain such great form at your age?
A: What keeps me well is the life I live. I do things I didn’t do before: my diet, my rest and recuperation are all better than 10 years go, which is where my results come from. I’m doing all the controls that everyone else does.

Final 10kms of Stage 4

Results Stage 4
1. Andre Greipel (GER/LTS) 3hr 22min 08sec
2. Daniele Colli (ITA/NIP) same time
3. Daniele Ratto (ITA/UHC) s.t.
4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN/OGE) s.t.
5. Manuel Belletti (ITA/STH) s.t.

General Classification
1. Davide Rebellin (ITA/CCC) 15hr 35min 49sec
2. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/LAM) at 7sec
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (ARG/BSE) at 50s
4. Jay McCarthy (AUS/TCS) at 1min 20sec
5. Serge Pauwels (BEL/MTN) at 1:23.