The 58th edition of the Tour of Türkiye is not just a cycling event; it’s a celebration of Turkey’s rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant tourism industry.
Vladimiros Petsas, the Race Director, emphasized the event’s pivotal role in showcasing Turkey’s unique assets to the world. “Cycling roads serve as a unique blend of sport, history, and tourism, contributing to the promotion and appreciation of a country in multiple ways,” Petsas remarked.
Starting from the picturesque Alanya district of Antalya and culminating in the bustling city of Istanbul, the eight-day race will see participants cover a staggering 1,235 kilometers (767 miles) across the Turkish Riviera. The event, known as the only “intercontinental bicycle tour” globally, boasts participation from four world tour teams, seven professional, 12 continental, and one national team.
The race kicked off in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, with 168 cyclists from 36 countries. The live broadcast of the competition promises to showcase Turkey’s scenic beauty, from majestic mountains to serene seaside resorts.
Jasper Philipsen of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team, a 25-year-old Belgian cyclist, has already made headlines by winning the first two stages of the tour. Philipsen’s victory in the 166.5-kilometer Kemer-Kalkan stage was particularly noteworthy, as he managed to edge out strong competitors like Cees Bol of the Astana team. With this win, Philipsen equaled Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia’s record for the most wins in the 2023 season, both boasting 17 victories.
The tour, organized by the Turkish Cycling Federation since 1963, initially known as the Marmara Tour, gained international recognition in 1965. It was subsequently taken under presidential authority in 1966, further elevating its status.
As the cyclists gear up for the upcoming stages, including Fethiye-Babadag, Fethiye-Marmaris, and Marmaris-Yalikavak, fans and tourists alike eagerly await the blend of competitive spirit and scenic beauty that the Tour of Türkiye promises. The final stage, Istanbul-Sultanahmet, is highly anticipated, promising a grand finish in one of the world’s most historic cities.
The Tour of Türkiye is more than a race; it’s a testament to Turkey’s allure as a travel destination, its rich history, and its commitment to promoting sports and tourism hand in hand. (AA)