New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevin on Sunday claimed the crown in the 57th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkiye after the Istanbul leg of the tour was called off due to unsafe weather conditions.
Bevin, who rides for Israel-Premier Tech, won based on Saturday’s completed seventh leg of the race at the 135.3-kilometer (84-mile) Gelibolu-Tekirdag track in western Turkiye, which he finished in three hours, 21 minutes, and two seconds.
With his win, the 31-year-old moved to the top of the tour’s overall standings.
Alpecin-Fenix’s Jay Vine trailed two seconds behind Bevin, and Arkea Samsic’s Nicolas Edet came in third, just four seconds behind the leader.
The seventh stage, which hosted 153 participants from 25 teams, kicked off in the historic Gallipoli (Gelibolu) Peninsula and ended in the northwestern Tekirdag province on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Bevin got the coveted turquoise jersey, while Noah Granigan, Jasper Philipsen and Batuhan Ozgur won the red, green and white jerseys, respectively.
Final stage canceled due to bad weather
The eight-stage race was due to wrap up in Istanbul on Sunday after a total of 1,303 km (810 mi) was run, but the last stage was canceled due to inclement weather.
The race started early Sunday at Istanbul’s famed Taksim Square with 149 cyclists from 25 teams participating. However, the team coordinators requested the authorities to cancel the event due to the slippery ground when the teams arrived at the Kuzguncuk district on the Asian side.
The Tour of Turkiye issued a statement about the incident, saying the health and safety of the riders is a top priority for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
“Riders, organisers and UCI commissaires agreed for the peloton to reach Taksim Square all together safely. There was no result for the day,” said the Tour of Turkiye.
The organizers said the Association of Professional Cyclists and the UCI authorized the referee committee to halt the race in cases such as weather conditions that endanger safety and slippery road surface in line with the “extreme weather conditions protocol” adopted in 2015.
They also said several races were canceled due to adverse weather conditions, including the Turin and Rome stages of Giro d’Italia in 2016 and 2018, the 19th stage of the 2019 Tour de France, and the last stage of the 2018 Tour of Britain.
The Turkish Cycling Federation has been organizing the tour, earlier known as the Marmara Tour, since 1963. It gained international status in 1965 and was brought under the presidential aegis in 1966.
Source and Photo credit: AA