Ireland’s Sam Bennett likes the Presidential Tour of Turkey, and won his sixth stage in the race over the past two years to claim the lead in the overall standings halfway through the race.
Bennett was third in the first stage, won by Argentina’s Maximiliano Richeze, then won the all-out sprints to the finish of the second and third stages. He won four stages in this race in 2017, but still finished just 52nd overall.
He leads Richese by a modest 10 seconds with three stages to go; there are 71 riders chasing him within a minute of his lead. The route gets rougher now, with the major mountain stage on Friday and hilly stages on Saturday and Sunday, with the finish in Istanbul. While Bennett has been a stage winner in past races, he’s never won (or medaled) in the final standings of a World Tour multi-stage race.
Look for results here. Summaries and stage notes:
UCI World Tour/Presidential Tour of Turkey
Turkey ~ 9-14 October 2018
(Full results here)
Stage 1 (148.4 km): 1. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG), 3:29:14; 2. Sam Bennett (IRL), 3:29:14; 3. Jempy Drucker (LUX), 3:29:14; 4. Alvaro Jose Hodeg (COL), 3:29:14; 5. Brenton Jones (AUS), 3:29:14.
Stage 2 (149.6 km): 1. Bennett (IRL), 3:24:37; 2. Hodeg (COL), 3:24:37; 3. Simone Consonni (ITA), 3:24:37; 4. Drucker (LUX), 3:24:37; 5. Ivan Garcia (ESP), 3:24:37.
Stage 3 (132.7 km): 1. Bennett (IRL), 3:16:27; 2. Richeze (ARG), 3:16:27; 3. John Degenkolb (GER), 3:16:27; 4. Patrick Bevan (NZL), 3:16:27; 5. Ahmet Orkan (TUR), 3:16:27.
Stage 4: 12 October: 205.5 km ~ Marmaris-Selcuk (mountains)
Stage 5: 13 October: 135.7 km ~ Selcuk-Manisa (hilly)
Stage 6: 14 October: 164.0 km ~ Bursa-Istanbul (hilly)