28 April 2015

Rebellin climbs to victory at Elmalı (Stage 3, Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey)

Italian veteran takes Turquoise Jersey after first mountain stage.

Results and post-stage comments

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Elmalı, 28 April 2015 -  Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice) won Stage 3 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey at Elmalı. He finished 7 seconds ahead of his breakaway companion, Kristijan Durasek (Lampre - Merida). Third was the Argentine rider Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne - Séché Environnement), who conceded 50 seconds to the stage winner. Those three lead the new General Classification, with the Italian 43-year-old wearing the Turquoise Jersey of the race leader. 

David Rebellin wins stage 3 at Elmalı (Click through for Hi Res. Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)

Stage 3: Kemer - Elmalı  (165 km) 

1. Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice), 165 km in 4h34m11s, Ave.  km/h

2. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre - Merida) at 7s

3. Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne - Séché Environnement) at 50s

4. Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff - Saxo) at 1m20s

5. Serge Pauwels (MTN - Qhubeka) at 1m23s 


General Classification:

1. Davide Rebellin (CCC Spaindi Polowice), 165 km in 4h34m11s, Ave.  km/h

2. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre - Merida) at 7s

3. Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne - Séché Environnement) at 50s

4. Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff - Saxo) at 1m20s

5. Serge Pauwels (MTN - Qhubeka) at 1m23s 



Turquoise, sponsored by Spor Toto (General Classification): Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice) 

Green, Salcano (Points): Mark Cavendish (Etixx - Quick Step) 

Red, Turkish Airlines (Mountains):  Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia,)

White, Vestel (Beauties of Turkey): Lluis Mas (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA)


Stage description

The race started In bright sunshine and warm, still conditions, and at high speed. Early attempts form the breakaway of the day spoke eloquently of the ambitions of some of the favourites: Serhiy Grechyn (Torku Şekerspor, dossard 205) chased by Jef Van Meirhaeghe of Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise, 176),  Boris Vallée (Lotto Soudal, 37) and Frederic Brun (Bretagne - Séché Environnement, 82), perhaps thinking of their respective team leaders, all tried and failed to get away. 


Before the mountain prize at 34.0 km, an early breakaway of 5 riders formed: Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli, 62), José Gonçalves (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 94), Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, dossard 118), Samuel Spokes (Drapac Professional Cycling, 127) and Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka, 134).


The mountain prize at 34.0 km (Cat. 2) ended:

1. Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, dossard 118) 5 pts

2. Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka, 134) 3 pts

3. Samuel Spokes (Drapac Professional Cycling, 127) 2 pts

4. José Gonçalves (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 94) 1 pt

With this, the Colombian Valencia took the provisional lead in the mountains competition.


The intermediate sprint after 50 km sprint finished:

1. Samuel Spokes (Drapac Professional Cycling, 127) 5 pts.

2. Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli, 62) 3 pts

3. Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka, 134) 1 pt

The result was largely irrelevant for the points competition overall.


The 5 breakaway riders achieved a maximum lead of no more than 4m10s.


The Beauties of Turkey sprint at Arykanda (km 99) ended:

1. José Gonçalves (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 94) 5 pts

2. Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka, 134) 3 pts

3. Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, 118) 1 pt 

Gonçalves moved to within 3 pts of the competition leaders Mas and Zurlo. 


The Category 1 climb at km 108.7, dedicated to the memory of former Turkish cycling champion Rifat Çalinskan, finished:

1. Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, 118) 10 pts 

2. Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka, 134) 7 pts

3. José Gonçalves (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 94) 5 pts

4. Davide Frattini  (UnitedHealthcare, 184) 3 pts

5. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff - Saxo, 13) 1 pt

Valencia added to his lead in the mountains competition: he now lay first, with 15 pts, with Jim in second place with 10 pts, and Gonçalves third with 6 pts.

The beauty of Turkey, and of cycling (Click through for Hi Res. Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)

The remains of the early breakaway ended at km 126, when seven riders, including Tom Boonen (Etixx - Quick Step, 2) and Thomas De Gent (Lotto Soudal, 35), joined the three remaining leaders.  Before the more general regrouping occurred, three riders from this leading 10-man group escaped:  Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff - Saxo, 13), Youcef Reguigui (MTN - Qhubeka, 136) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise, 178).


Those three were caught by the peloton, numbering in the region of 50 riders, with 11 km to go. With 9 km to go, as the peloton thinned, Lluis Mas (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 96), wearing the White Jersey of the leader in the Beauties of Turkey sprints competition, attacked. His attacked was neutralised with 7 km to go. Heiner Parra (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, 97) and Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice,106) then attacked. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre - Merida, 21) joined them, to form a leading trio, with Enrico Barbin (Bardiani - CSF Pro Team, 151) and Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff - Saxo, 15) giving chase. There were still 6.5 km to go. Parra was then dropped by Duresek and Rebellin, and tagging onto Barbin and McCarthy.


The two leaders, however, were too strong, and Rebellin, with his fast finish, sealed victory, with Durasek second.   




Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprindi Polowice), Winner, stage three

20 years after taking his first the Giro d’Italia stage and Maglia Rosa:  The emotion is always the same. I’m motivated for every race. I put  I put my heart into it and give the best of myself, especially on a finish like this that suits me. I’d say that my condition is better than last year, and I have the advantage that I knew the climb and I know the Tour of Turkey. I came here convinced that I could finish on the podium. Today was the hardest stage, although anything can still happen of course. Last year, I remember, I lost 10 secs in a banal stage finish, because of a split in the group. If I hadn’t lost those 10 seconds I could have been on the podium. There will not doubt be lots of attacks ahead, but I have faith in my team, and we have riders who are strong enough to take the race in hand and defend this lead.After a month without racing, you never quite know exactly where you are. Me and Fabio Sabatini did some big weeks training in the last few weeks. I’m at the same level as I was this time last year, when I won four stages.
Return to the Giro d’Italia? The Giro d’Italia is 3 weeks long, and very demanding. We have other programmes but my condition is good, and perhaps a good result could be possible, although I don’t mean in the General Classification. For the moment, my programme is as it is. Could it change? I don’t know. In any case, the season is long and lots of good races ahead.


Kristijan Durasek (Lampre - Merida)  2nd in the stage 

I tried to attack Rebellin twice, but he responded both times and got back on my wheel. That's the way it is. I haven't achieved the stage win I wanted today, but I coulnd't have done any more. And it's still a good result. 


Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne - Séché Environnement), 3rd in the stage:

When Rebellin attacked, there were still 7km to go, and I didn’t go with them because I thought it better to attack much later, with 3km left to ride. I stuck to my plan and I believed I could ride across to them, but just didn’t have the strength. Did I learn anything from today’s stage? Only that I should have gone with them…


Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-RGA), leader in the Beauties of Turkey Sprints competition: 

On the first category climb, Pello Bilbao, who was our designated leader, had a puncture and couldn't get back to the peloton. At that point, the Colombian Heiner Parra took over as team leader. Three of us stayed with him to protect him. I accelerated at the start of the final climb in order the break up the group., which was still pretty big. Parra went with Rebellin and Durasek to start off with, but they climbed to quickly for him. He managed a top-ten finish all the same, which is a good result, and the race isn't over. There are still 5 stages for us to change the General Classification. As for me, I will keep riding for the White Jersey, looking for breakaways, even if it is not an easy competition to win because there is only one sprint a day."


TOMORROW: 29 April: Stage 4 - Fethiye - Marmaris

Signing-in: 11.55-12-35

Stage start: 12.50


A popular resorts set on a wide bay strewn with islands. The ancient name of the city is Telmessos: the fortress overlooking the city was built by the Knights of Rhodes. Fethiye is known for elaborate rock tombs carved into the cliffs by the Lycians. The tomb of Amnytas, dating to the 4th century BC, is in the Doric architectural style. 

The Beach and the Sovalye Island are real the destinations for those who like to enjoy the most beautiful sea. Belcegiz Bay forms the dreamlike Belcegiz - Ölüdeniz (‘Blue Lagoon’, 36° 32′ 57.6″ N, 29° 6′ 54″ E) with 3 kms of natural beach and crystal blue waters. At Koturumsu, waterfalls flow beneath thousands of butterflies which flutter through the pine forest that flanks the beach. Paragliding from Baba mountain became one of the most popular sports and it gives magnificent views for people flying over this great beach lagoon.


Around Fethiye, there are important ancient cities of the Lycians. To the southeast of Fethiye lies Xanthos at Kinik village, an important capital of Lycians. Its setting is naturally adorned while Letoon, by Kumluova village and close to Xanthos, is also interesting. Letoon was a cult center during the Lycian period and remains can be seen of temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo. Patara by Ovagelmis, Pinara by Minare, Tlos by Doger, Cadianda by Yesil Üzümlü, Sidyma by Dodurga, Karmilassos by Kaya, Pydnai by Kavadere, Araxa by Ören, Lydoe by Kapidag, Lissa and Arsada by Kayadibi, and Daedela by Inlice are other significant sites to visit in the environs of Fethiye. There are also many camping and picnicking facilities around Fethiye.


km 0 - 132 km to go - Gemiler Island (, 36° 33′ 12.41″ N, 29° 4′ 9.67″ E): the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas. Archaeologists believe he was interred in the rock-hewn church after his death in 326. His relics remained there until the 650s, when the island was abandoned as it was threatened by an Arab fleet. They were then moved to Myra, 25 miles (40 km) to the east. Because of the many wars and attacks in the region, some Christians were concerned that access to the tomb might become difficult. The Italian cities of Venice and Bari vied to get the Nicholas relics. In the spring of 1087, sailors from Bari in Apulia seized part of the remains of the saint from his burial church in Myra, over the objections of the Greek Orthodox monks. Returning to Bari, they brought the remains with them and cared for them. The remains arrived on 9 May 1087 and remain at Bari.


km 20.3 - 111.6 km to go - Göcek  (36° 45′ 25″ N, 28° 56′ 40″ E): According to legend, it was near Göcek that Icarus fell into the sea after flying too close to the sun on wings made of feathers and wax (a scene depicted in the famous painting by Breugel, ‘the Fall of Icarus’, and sung of by Joni Mitchell in her song Amelia: “Like Icarus ascending on beautiful, foolish arms…’). Göcek was used as a harbour for ships loading chrome ore collected from the mines under nearby mountains during the Ottoman period.

In its large, secluded bay Göcek hosts six significant marinas. 


km 47 - 84.5 km to go - Dalyan (, 36° 48' 33.24" N, 28° 37' 39.57" E): achieved international fame in 1987 when developers wanted to build a luxury hotel on the nearby İztuzu Beach, a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The incident created major international storm when David Bellamy championed the cause of conservationists such as June Haimoff, Peter Günther, Nergis Yazgan, Lily Venizelos and Keith Corbett. The development project was temporarily stopped after Prince Philip called for a moratorium and in 1988 the beach and its hinterland were declared a protected area, viz. Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area.


km 65 - 67.1 km to go - Lake Köyceğiz (36° 54' 32.28" N, 28° 39' 42.80" E): one of Turkey’s largest coastal lakes. fed by the Namnam and Yuvarlakçay rivers and a number of mountain brooks. The water of brooks, melting water and fresh water wells, mixes with warm sulfurous water that is released from a fault and mildly brackish, oxygenated water that flows upriver with the rising tide. The depth of the lake varies from 20 to 60 metres. The lake is abundant with fish.


km 97 - 24.9 km to go - Gökova Beach (37° 2' 31.03" N, 28° 19' 44.48" E|): 


km 110 - 21.9 km to go - Sedir Island (, 36° 59' 31.98" N, 28° 12' 15.14" E):  also known as Cleopatra Island, is a small island in the Gulf of Gökova. It is famous for its beach made from seashells. It is said that this organic sand was brought by ships from the Red Sea especially for Cleopatra. Each grain of sand is a perfect sphere, for this reason the beach is heavily protected by the government to prevent any sand being removed from the beach. According to legend, Anthony and Cleopatra swam here and the sands were brought by ships from North Africa. 


131.9 km (Finish) - Marmaris Castle (km 130, 36° 51' 2.32" N, 28° 16' 27.99" E): Herodotus, born in c. 484 BC at Halicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum, where André Greipel won stages in 2010 and 2013), described by Cicero as "The Father of History,” writes that the first city walls in Marmaris were constructed in 3,000 B.C.



It is not known when Marmaris was founded, but Physkos, as the settlement was previously known, was part of the Carian Empire in the 6th century B.C. when overrun by the Lydians. Another Lydian invasion in 334 B.C. led to the division of the Roman Empire by Alexander the Great.

According to Herodotus, the Carians, after coming from Crete took over the town of Physkos with its large natural harbour, and used it as a military base for their campaigns against the Phoenicians in Rhodes and other Aegean islands. The Carian civilization entered a dark period after 300 B.C., coming under the rule of the Egyptians, Asstrians, Ionians and Dorians successively. The Dorians turned the Carian province into 9 colony cities, also including Halicarnassos and Knidos, which became an active trading centre for Anatolia and led to an increase in handicrafts and maritime trade. In 138 B.C. Attalos the 3rd, King of Bergama, whose predecessors had ruled Caria for 90 years, ceded Physkos to Rome and the city was ruled from Rhodes by Roman generals. The city became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1425. The castle was built in 1521 AD for use in a planned assault on Rhodes. The Ottoman Sultan at the time, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, changed the name of the town to Mimaras, which then became Marmaris.

A local rumour has it that the reason for the change of name Mimaras was that Sultan Suleyman, on his return from Rhodes, disliked the castle and exclaimed ‘Mimar as!’, which means ‘Hang the architect!’ Unfortunately there is no evidence to support this amusing story.

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Matt Rendell
Presidential Tour of Turkey Press Office
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