Tough final stage done and dusted
After yesterday's stage win, Leopard Pro Cycling was today able to defend Szymon Rekita's leading position in the GC of the Tour of Antalya. A start to the season, which could not have been better.
The fourth and final stage of the Tour of Antalya took the riders from Side back to Antalya over a distance of 158 kilometers. What looked like a relatively easy stage on paper, turned out to be a pretty hard one. Since a lot of teams still saw possibilities in the general classification, it took over 50 kilometers before the break of the day was gone. Three riders went up the road and gathered a lead of about four minutes. The peloton was controlled by Leopard Pro Cycling, but some teams took over when the race approached the hilly area. With 58 kilometers to go all came back together and the race started again with many attacks. The Leopard riders went all-in to take home the victory and succeeded in this game plan. In the streets of Antalya, it came down a bunch sprint finish, which was won by Roy Jans. The Leopard riders did not involve themselves in this final push. Next to the overall classification, Leopard Pro Cycling also took the win in the team ranking.
Szymon Rekita: "Already at our training camp in Mallorca, you could already sense that we are a strong team. Therefore, I expected that we could aim for one or more stage wins, but I definitely didn't expect the overall victory. This last stage was very hard as a lot of teams tried to move up places in the GC. Thanks to my amazing team mates, we could defend the jersey. This was not possible without them, the same goes for the staff. The feeling in the team is now really good. The morale is high, since we started the season very well."
Markus Zingen, Team Manager: "This entire race, the team did a great job, especially today when we had to defend really hard. It makes Szymon's victory even better. As a nice bonus, the team wins the team ranking, which is of course well-deserved. All in all, it's an wonderful start to the season. This will give the whole team even more confidence and it goes without saying that we are looking forward to the upcoming races."
Tour of Anatalya (UCI 2.2)
1. Szymon Rekita (POL)
14. Jack Burke (CAN) + 0'39"
17. Jan Maas (NET) + 0'50"
69. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 4'33"
110. Konrad Gessner (GER) + 10'44"
Pictures: (c) Elisa Haumesser & VeloImages