Turkey’s picturesque coastline is in the global sporting spotlight this month, after the 50th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, which sees the world’s elite cyclists race from Alanya to Istanbul, kicked off on Sunday, 27th April. And after day 2, the race leader is British champion Mark Cavendish.
The eight-stage Tour of Turkey follows the country’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, finishing in Istanbul on Sunday, 4th May. Organisers are expecting international spectators to include British expats and anyone visiting their holiday home in Turkey.
Before the event, Emin Müftuoglü, president of the Turkish Cycling Federation, commented: “For us, to enjoy the presence of such a prestigious champion as Mark Cavendish on the 50th birthday of the Tour of Turkey is a fine present. It’s an honour and a sign of the increasing trust the cycling world shows towards our event.”
The breathtaking 1,254-kilometre race features spectacular scenery, including two important mountain finishes, namely on Stage 3 and 6. Stage 3 ends at 1,825 metres above sea level in Elmalı Göğübeli, making it the highest and longest stage of the Tour. In Stage 6, cyclists will climb the last 5 kilometres to reach the finish line at the top of the Hill of Virgin Mary above Selçuk in the second longest stage.
Another demanding stage involving difficult climbing sections takes place on 1st May (stage 4) and runs between tourist hot spots Marmaris and Turgutreis.
The complete Tour’s stages are: Day 1, Alanya; Day 2 Alanya to Kemer; Day 3, Finike to Elmali; Day 4, Fethiye to Marmaris; Day 5, Marmaris to Turgutreis; Day 6, Bodrum to Selcuk; Day 7, Kusadasi to Izmir; Day 8, Istanbul.