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It was the first victory since 2018 for the former world champion.
Cavendish came off the fourth wheel in the final kick to pass Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and longtime nemesis André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation), who came through second and third, respectively.
“It’s incredible, it’s really nice to be a winner again. I’ll never get tired of that feeling,” Cavendish said. “[Lead out man] Shane Archbold got me further than yesterday. Alvaro [Hodeg] could guide me in the last kilometer. Thanks to Deceuninck-Quick Step for the opportunity to come back.”
Overnight leader Arvid de Kleijn (Rally Cycling) finished fourth, but the race leader’s jersey goes to Cavendish.
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) April 12, 2021
How it unfolded: Another bunch kick
Rally Cycling did its part to control the tempo to bring home the sprint under cool conditions and cloudy skies. Overnight leader De Kleijn, winner of Sunday’s opening stage, enjoyed a full day of racing in the leader’s jersey after bringing Rally Cycling’s first victory in 2021.
Also read: Rally Cycling on big win: ‘We needed that’
An early breakaway was duly reeled in under pressure from Deceuninck-Quick-Step and the other sprint teams coming into the final 10km. The final kilometers were contested on a wide road before hitting a string of traffic circles into the sprint.
A pair of riders crashed with about 1,300m to go in the middle of the pack as Israel Start-Up Nation led under the red kite.
The 56th Presidential Tour of Turkey continues Tuesday with the 212.6km third stage from Beyeshir to Alanya. The stage starts on higher terrain and hits a few rated climbs in the first half of the race before hitting sea level along the Mediterranean Sea. The stage should see a tug-of-war between the sprinter teams and would-be attackers.
2021 Presidential Tour of Turkey Results
- Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), 3:17:26
- Jasper Philpesen(Alpecin-Fenix), at s.t.
- André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation), at s.t.
- Arvid de Kleijn (Rally Cycling), at s.t.
- Stanisław Aniołkowski (Bingoa-Pauwels Sauces), at s.t.
- Manuel Peñalver (Burgos-BH), at s.t.
- Giovanni Lonardi (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), at s.t.
- Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), at s.t.
- Rick Zabel (Israel Start-Up Nation), at s.t.
- Søren Waerenskold (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), at s.t.