52nd Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (2.HC), in 8 stages, starts 24 April in Istanbul
How many sports events race around one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? How many can claim to visit tlandscapes mentioned in Homer’s Iliad? Or a city said to have been founded after the Trojan War by the seers Mopsos, Calchas and Amphilochus? How many meander across the river from which the word ‘meander’ derives, or race through the birthplace of the philosopher who wrote, ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice’? How many bike races pass the world’s best preserved ancient amphitheatre?
We think the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (or TUR, for short) is one of the cycling world’s most beautiful, evocative and culturally fascinating events, for all these reasons, and many more besides, and we hope you will either join us for the race or follow us on international television, Twitter, and on the race website at http://tourofturkey.org.tr/EN
(Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)
Pay careful attention to race coverage from Sunday 24 April to Sunday 1 May 2016. You will see the peloton pass a beach where every grain of sand is a perfect sphere and where the lovers Antony and Cleopatra swam together in the turquoise sea. You will see the racing unfold beside the bay where Icarus flew too close to the sun and fell; beneath the volcano whose eternal fires were the inspiration for the fire-breathing Chimera in Homer’s Illiad, and alongside beaches where beautiful, and extremely rare loggerhead sea turtles nest.
The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey also passes many sites of great religious and spiritual significance. The original burial sites of John the Apostle and of Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus); ancient towns where St Paul preached the word of God (Acts 14:25), and where two books of the Bible were written, not to mention the beautiful hillside where the Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life.
You will see a race that builds bridges, and crosses them too. One connects Europe and Asia. Another stands where Leonardo da Vinci intended to build his pioneering single-span design, 240m long and 24m wide, which would have been the longest bridge in the world. Sadly, like so many products of Leonardo’s genius, it was never built. And you will see a stage finish against the backdrop of a building that changed the history of architecture, and was, for a thousand years, the world’s largest cathedral.
(Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)
The Tour of Turkey starts with a tour of one of the world’s great cities, Istanbul, a place not only of bridges, but of palaces too. By the end of that monumental stage your general knowledge will include the palace where Muhammed’s cloak and sword are exhibited, the palace where Empress Eugénie of France had her face slapped by the sultan’s mother, and the palace where, in November 1938, Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, died, and where all the clocks were stopped and set to 9.05 to commemorate his hour of passing.
The professional peloton encounters the extraordinary all along the race route. The list goes on and on: the Greek creator of the Farnese Bull, the largest single sculpture ever recovered from antiquity? It’s here. The town that minted coins showing Nike, goddess of victory, and the laurel wreath? It’s here too.
And where is the world’s No.1 most-visited tourist attraction? Here’s a clue: it’s beside the race route.
Read, look, listen, and prepare to be enchanted.
The Tour of Turkey 2016 – Stages
1. İstanbul – İstanbul (129 km)
2. Kapadokya – Kapadokya (154 km)
3. Aksaray – Konya (159 km)
4. Seydi̇şehi̇r – Alanya (187 km)
5. Alanya – Kemer (189 km)
6. Kumluca – Elmali (117 km)
7. Fethi̇ye – Marmari̇s (128.5 km)
8. Marmari̇s – Selçuk (201.5 km)
Giro d’Italia form guide
The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey has become an excellent barometer of form for the oncoming races, especially the Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of the international cycling calendar,
(Click through for Hi Res. Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)
The 2015 Giro saw great success for a number of TUR regulars:
The winner of 2015 Giro stage 2, Elia Viviani (Team Sky), took his first pro win in Stage 7 of the 2010 TUR, Finike – Antalya.
The winner of 2015 Giro stage 6, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), holds the record for TUR stage wins with 10, the most recent of them in Marmaris on 29 April this year.
Sacha Modolo (Lampre Merida), the winner of two Giro stages in 2015, won at Pamukkale in stage 5 of the 2015 TUR, and took one of the first wins of his professional career at Kusadasi in 2012.
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team), the winner of the 2010 TUR, won the mountains category at the 2015 Giro d’Italia.
With his Bardiani CSF team-mates, the winner of 2015 Giro Stage 10, Nicola Boem, has ridden aggressively at the last two TURs.
Another TUR stalwart, Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal), has ridden every TUR since 2011. He finished 9th overall in the 2014 and 2015 TURs.
The winner of the 2015 TUR, Kritijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida),won Stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse in June.
The 2015 Tour de France saw TUR stage winners André Greipel and Mark Cavendish win multiple stages.
For further TUR information,
please follow us on Twitter at @tourofturkeyTUR #TUR2016