Efimkin becomes the sixth leader in six days

After Andrea Guardini, Valentin Iglinskiy, Manuel Belletti, Bartosz Huzarski and Thomas Peterson, Alexander Efimkin from Team Type 1 became the sixth leader at the end of stage 6 at the 47th Presidential Tour of Turkey. Together with Andrey Zeits and Thibaut Pinot, helped by their respective teams Astana and FDJ, they dethroned Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo) and Cameron Wurf (Liquigas-Cannondale) from the first three positions on GC. The American and the Australian didn’t make the front group of thirty riders.

After a fast start with a tail wind, the attackers had to wait for the kilometre 50 for being able to break away. 12 of them made the move: Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Aitor Perez Arrieta (Lampre-ISD), Jonas Jorgensen and Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Assan Basayev (Astana), Wesley Sulzberger (FDJ), Jurgen Van Goolen (Vérandas Willems), Jesus Del Nero (NetApp), Patrick McCarthy (Spidertech), Arturo Mora (Caja Rural), Ronan Van Zandbeek (Skil-Shimano) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1). They got a maximum lead of three minutes but it diminished rapidly as the FDJ team put the hammer down in the main climb of the day with 70 km to go.

It created a new front group of 30 leaders where race leader Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo) and runner up Cameron Wurf (Liquigas-Cannondale) where missing, but their followers on GC Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1), Andrey Zeits (Astana) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) were up there. FDJ had the biggest numbers in the group with Sandy Casar, Francis Mourey, Arthur Vichot, Sulzberger and Pinot. Astana had Alexandre Dyachenko, Sergey Renev and Bazayev in support of Zeits while Bodrogi and Rubens Bertogliati were two absolute specialists of time trial at the service of Efimkin.

Ramunas Navardauskas did a formidable job keeping under one minute the deficit of the group of ten in which his team-mate Peterson and Wurf were, but at the end it went above two minutes and that was enough for Efimkin, Zeits and Pinot to move up to first, second and third respectively.

The front group being busy to ride as fast as possible until the finishing town of Finike, where the taste of the oranges is famous, it went down to a sprint. Leopold König (NetApp) and Marycz tried to anticipate it but it turned into an easy one for Greipel who found a totally different way to win. One year ago, he was escorted by the train of HTC-Columbia but he proved to be able to sprint successfully by himself.

Turkish cycling fans were delighted to see Greipel winning as his triumphal attitude of last year has been used as the trademark of the TUR to promote the event through Turkey this year.

Quotes From The Top 3 Riders And The New Race Leader

Andre Greipel (stage winner, Omega Pharma-Lotto): "It was a different way of winning here today than last year when it was a bunch sprint, but I’m still a sprinter. Anyone from my team could have been in the breakaway today, and all of us jumped in the first moves. It took 50 kilometres until the breakaway went, and I was lucky to be the one. Actually, I was not so happy to be there because I was pretty tired from the day before. But I realized that I was in a good situation with Alexander Efimkin riding for GC. I was able to just wait for the sprint. I expected attacks in the last ten kilometres but it went so fast that there was no time for attacking, and the head wind would made it difficult to stay away. Before the Tour of Turkey, I took some rest. Now I managed to win a stage here and I’m happy with it. There are two possible bunch sprints remaining. I’ll try to be up there."

Egoitz Garcia (2nd, Caja Rural): "I’ve tried to go out of the bunch today and I made the front group. I’ve moved pretty well in the final sprint and I’m quite happy to be second. To win it was very complicated. Andre Greipel is a great champion. He was too strong to be beaten today. He’s a much faster sprinter than I am."

Bartosz Huzarski (3rd, NetApp): "I’ve tried to follow Andre Greipel but there was no way I could beat him in the sprint. I had one team-mate (Leopold König) up the road to help me, he did a good job anticipating the sprint when he attacked with 1.5km to go with my compatriot Jaroslaw Marycz. It made it a very fast finish. I was disappointed of course to lose the turquoise jersey I got after stage 4 but I’m a member of a small team and the racing was really hard. It was also hard for a big team like Garmin to keep the jersey. They also lost it. With one day wearing the turquoise jersey, a strong presence in the breakaway for three days and good positions at a few stages, we’re doing well at the Tour of Turkey."

Alexander Efimkin (race leader, Team Type 1): "I was not satisfied enough with the third place overall I got yesterday at the end of the breakaway. My directeur sportif Massimo Podenzana told me that it was more interesting to have the turquoise jersey of race leader than the red jersey of the king of the mountain. I got what I wanted. I like the turquoise colour, actually. This is thanks to Team Type 1. They have supported me in the bad moments as well as the nice ones like today. The team we have here in Turkey is very good. Laszlo Bodrogi and Rubens Bertogliati have done a great job at the front of the breakaway today. I owe them a big thank you. I think we’re able to keep the lead till the end. We have an excellent relationship with the Astana team. I also have to thank them and FDJ for the turns that made me a race leader. The day before yesterday was the hardest with the terrain and the rain, but yesterday was hard as well and so was today. This race is well organised. I take the opportunity of being the leader here to spread the message of our team: we’re here to support diabetic people and change their life."

Stage Summary

Istanbul – Istanbul
24 April 2011, 114.1 km

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