Arvid de Kleijn wins opening stage Tour of Turkey when Fabio Jakobsen returns
Arvid de Kleijn has won the first stage of the Tour of Turkey. In a shortened stage, with start and finish in Konya, the Dutchman from Rally was the best in the bunch sprint. There had to be a photo finish for his duel with Kristoffer Halvorsen. The stage also marked the return of Fabio Jakobsen to the peloton.
Snowfall already put an end to the opening stage around Nevsehir on Saturday. The organization acted very quickly and signed an alternative stage out in Konya, on the final route of Monday’s stage. As a result, 72 kilometers was waiting for the peloton, in which Fabio Jakobsen made his comeback in the peloton after 250 days.
The short drive called for attacks. Among others, the Dutch ABLOC CT showed itself several times, but a leading group did not get away. Ivar Slik escaped after twelve kilometers and he got Sean De Bie (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB). Behind it, Deceuninck-Quick-Step controlled the peloton. Counterattacks were therefore countered. Slik and De Bie in turn got a one minute lead.
Swallow and De Bie distribute the sweaters
Feritcan Samli (Spor Toto) did get the chance to counterattack, but the lonely Turk was unable to make the crossing. Halfway through the stage, the first intermediate sprint became a prey for De Bie. In the meantime, the sprinter teams in the peloton took the initiative in the pursuit, including Alpecin-Fenix, Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Israel Start-Up Nation.
At 21 kilometers from the finish, Ivar Slik managed to conquer the first mountain jersey, with which the first goal of ABLOC CT was achieved. The North Hollander received the points from De Bie, who a little later won the Beauties of Turkey intermediate sprint himself and thus also received a jersey. The Dutch and the Belgian had divided it so well. The peloton followed there, at 17 kilometers from the finish, one minute behind.
De Kleijn surprises in the sprint
There, however, the pace was considerably increased, so that Slik and De Bie were caught six kilometers before the finish. Then it was up to the sprinter teams to put the trains on the rails. That went pretty chaotic. Uno-X took the lead in entering the final kilometer.
At a left corner, a strange maneuver caused a break in the peloton, causing Kristoffer Halvorsen and Arvid de Kleijn to make a small hole with the rest. Mark Cavendish, among others, was behind the break, so he was eliminated for the stage victory.
De Kleijn, the Dutch sprinter from Rally, came from Halvorsen’s back and pressed his wheel in extemis next to the Norwegian’s. A photo finish was needed to point out the difference, after which De Kleijn received the congratulations. Pierre Barbier came in third, Cavendish fourth and Jasper Philipsen fifth.
The fast Dutchman can wear the first leader’s jersey in the Tour of Turkey due to his stage victory. On Monday he will start in the second stage, with the same final to Konya, in that leader’s jersey. Halvorsen follows on four seconds, Barbier on six seconds.