Visconti takes Tour of Turkey

Eurosport - Sun, 18 Apr 18:01:00 2010

Giovanni Visconti won the Tour of Turkey, with Germany's Andre Greipel winning the final stage to make it four stage wins out of eight as he dominated the points standings.

Giovanni Visconti - 0

Visconti finished safely in the peloton to record the first professional stage race victory for his ISD-Neri team.

"When I'll go back to Italy, I'll tell my friends and family that I want to go back to Turkey, that says it all," Visconti said with a large smile.

"I've enjoyed the nice weather, the great landscapes and the warm welcome of the Turkish people, it's been a great week."

In Sunday's eighth stage, Greipel powered clear at the line to hold off Italian Angelo Furlan (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Dutchman Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) in the chaotic bunch sprint.

STAGE SEVEN

Elia Viviani of Liquigas won stage seven of the Tour of Turkey after a major crash at the end of the 114km stage in Antalya.

Viviani crossed the line ahead of race leader Giovanni Visconti of ISD-Neri with Andrea Grendene (Lampre-Farnese Vini) completing an all Italian podium after a pile-up at a sharp right-hander inside the final kilometre denied Andre Greipel the chance to sprint for a fifth stage victory.

Adriano Malori, Gustavo Rodriguez Iglesias, Aristide Ratti, Cheng Ji and Giairo Ermeti went clear 10km after the start in Finike but never established a lead greater than two and a half minutes.

Malori and Ermeti were finally caught with 3km to go and another Greipel victory looked inevitable but his HTC-Columbia train crashed en-masse at the final turn, made slippery by earlier rain, accounting for around the leading 20 riders in the bunch in the process.

Visconti did stay upright to extend his lead on GC to 29 seconds over Columbia-HTC's Tejay Van Garderen entering Sunday's final stage to Alanya.

STAGE SIX

Germany's Andre Greipel won his fourth stage at this year's Tour of Turkey in Finike after a heroic breakaway by Christophe Kern and Frederik Wilmann was foiled in the final kilometre.

A five-man escape group formed shortly after the start of the 194km stage from Fethiye but the last two survivors, Kern and Wilmann, were caught just after the Flamme Rouge.

Kern still had enough energy to muster a counter-attack before overall race leader Giovanni Visconti surged past him. However the ISD-Neri rider, in the turquoise jersey, had to settle for fourth as Columbia-HTC speedster Greipel roared to victory, followed by Davide Cimolai (Liquigas-Doimo) and Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF).

Yukihiro Doi, sixth on GC, was in the original break but after a mechanical problem forced the Japanese rider to drop back into the peloton the remaining four riders were allowed to pull out a lead.

Vladimir Isaychev (Xacobeo) and Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Footon-Servetto) were dropped on the category one climb, whose summit was 67km from the finish, as Kern, who wore the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France for one day last year, and Norwegian neo-pro Wilmann opened up an advantage of 5:20 with 43km to go only to be foiled at the death.

With Kern dangerously placed at 10th on GC, ISD-Neri had an extra incentive to chase down the two leaders over the closing stages and with 40km to go the HTC-Columbia train helped the Italian squad ensure another sprint finish and subsequent victory for Greipel.

STAGE FIVE

Andre Greipel clinched his third Tour of Turkey win, blasting to victory in a bunch sprint at the end of the 221-kilometre stage five from Denizli to Fethiye, but Giovanni Visconti retained the overall lead.

HTC-Columbia's Greipel - who won the first two stages in Turkey - crossed the line three quarters of a length ahead of Italy's Mattia Gavazzi and Holland's Kenny Van Hummel for his ninth win of the season.

The HTC-Columbia sprinter is now also leading in the points competition, with stage three and four winner Visconti, of ISD-Neri.

STAGE FOUR

Giovanni Visconti won his second successive stage at the Tour of Turkey to take the overall lead in the eight-day race.

The ISD-Neri rider won a five-man sprint at the end of the 209km stage from Marmaris to Pamukkale.

Gian-Paolo Cheula made a brave long distance bid for victory was caught in the final 100m with 27-year-old Visconti finishing well clear of Columbia-HTC's Tejay Van Garderen and David Moncoutie of Cofidis.

Visconti's ISD team had two men in an initial five-man break as the peloton crossed the category one climb at Sakar and the man, who won in Marmaris on Tuesday, was one of six riders to bridge the gap to the leaders.

That group whittled down over the closing stages with the peloton finishing nearly four and a half minutes behind the leaders and overnight leader Rein Taaramae of Cofidis even further back as he relinquished his race lead.

Visconti leads Van Garderen by 16 seconds on GC with Moncoutie third, at 27 seconds, and Cheula a further 21 seconds back.

STAGE THREE:

Giovanni Visconti outfoxed Simon Spilak (Lampre - Farnese Vini) to win the third stage of the Tour of Turkey in Marmaris.

The Italian from the UCI Professional Continental team ISD-NERI surged past the Slovenian in the closing stages of the 166km trek from Bodrum to take the victory.

Estonia's Rein Taaramae of Cofidis led the sprint out and although he had to settle for third, he took the overall lead as a hilly run-in over the final 30km saw the field splinter and Andre Greipel relinquish the lead.

Taaramae leads by two seconds on GC from the German, winner of the first two stages, with Visconti in third position a further four seconds behind.

STAGE TWO:

Germany's Andre Greipel made it back-to-back wins by claiming victory in the second stage of the Tour of Turkey.

Greipel, who won Sunday's opening prologue, comprehensively beat Angelo Furlan (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Claudio Cucinotta (De Rosa-Stac Plastic) at the end of the 181km stage from Kusadasi to Turgutreis.

It was an eighth win of the season for the HTC-Columbia rider who now leads American team-mate Tejay Van Garderen by 16 seconds on general classification.

Hubert Schwab (Vorarlberg-Corratec), Christophe Kern (Cofidis), Diego Caccia (ISD-Neri) and Kiendys Tomasz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) attacked after 60km and built up a four and half minute lead but were caught inside the 50km and despite several counter-attacks, HTC-Columbia reeled in all the escapees to set up a sprint finish.

STAGE ONE:

German Andre Greipel took the overall lead in the Presidential Tour of Turkey after winning the prologue on Sunday.

The Team HTC Columbia rider finished in a time of eight minutes and 40 seconds, six seconds ahead of American team-mate Tejay Van Garderen in the 5.8km race around the streets of Istanbul.

It was his first career time trial win and his seventh victory of the season.

"The key to winning here was saving enough energy for a steep little climb to the finish at the end," Greipel said. "I didn't prepare for the prologue specially, I rode round the course twice, and simply tried to give it my best.

"I'm pleased because I spent a couple of weeks training after Paris-Nice with no racing at all and this result shows the hard work I did at home has paid off.

"Having me and Tejay ahead of the rest of the field is great , too, because it gives the team different cards to play in the stages to come.

"Tomorrow [Monday] is a stage with quite a few little climbs, though, so it could be complicated to defend the lead. However, we've got off to a great start."

Poland’s Liquigas Doima rider Maciej Bodnar came third.

Tour of Turkey: Sunday 4pm on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) & Eurosport Player

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