Alanya, 26 April 2015 – Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) won Stage 1 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, Alanya – Alanya (145 km) today. He took the first race leader’s Turquoise Jersey.
The stage unfolded like this: within ten kilometres of the start, five riders formed the first breakaway of the 2015 TUR: Mario Costa (Lampre – Merida, wearing dossard 22), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CFS, 78), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural, 96), Adam Phelan (Drapac, 121) and Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188). The
peloton, led by Lotto Soudal, Etixx – Quick Step and Torku Seker Spor allowed the attackers to build a maximum lead of no more than 3m 35s.
The result of the Category 3 mountain prize after 54.8 km was as follows:
1. Zurlo 3 pts.
2. Da Costa 2 pts.
3. Phelan 1 pt.
So Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188) secured a place on the post-stage podium to receive the Red Jersey, sponsored by Turkish Airlines, as the overnight leader of the mountains competition.
The intermediate sprint after 67.0 km sprint finished:
1. Zurlo 5 pts.
2. Da Costa 3 pts
3. Tonelli 1 pt.
The Beauties of Turkey sprint at Alanya Castle (km 110.1) ended:
1. Zurlo 5 pts.
2. Mas 3 pts
3. Tonelli 1 pt.
Federico Zurlo secured a second podium appearance after the stage to receive the White Jersey, sponsored by Vestel, as the overnight leader in the Beauties of Turkey competition.
On the finish line, as Greipel raised an arm in protest at a possible balking, Cavendish beat Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge) and Nicola Ruffoni (Lampre – Merida) to the finish line and celebrated his first victory of the event and his fifth TUR stage win in total.
Stage 1: Alanya – Alanya (145 km)
1. Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) 145 km in
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge)
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Lampre – Merida)
4. Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)
5. Theo Bos (MTN – Qhubeka)
Turquoise, sponsored by Spor Toto (General Classification): Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step)
Green, Salcano (Points): Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step)
Red, Turkish Airlines (Mountains): Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188)
White, Vestel (Beauties of Turkey): Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188)
Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step), Winner, Stage One
Stage finish: “I like it here in Turkey, and I have a great team here to support me. Even Tom Boonen was working for me towards the end of the stage. I didn’t see anything particularly dangerous today. I know from past experience that, after a race, if it’s tense and dangerous in the final, you want to take it out on someone, but I didn’t see there was anything bad in the finish.”
Dedication? (Cavendish’s wife Peta is pregnant with their second child) “No special dedication to my family today. The best dedication to my family is to win more. My little girl (Delilah Grace) understands cycling and says, “Good luck, daddy, go faster”, although she doesn’t understand when I don’t win.”
Closest rival today: “It’s the first time I raced with Caleb Ewan. I think he is good, although, to me, he’s just another competitor who I try and beat. I don’t know if Orica Green-Edge have enough faith him him because they didn’t put anyone at the front, and it was a shame for him because he was close today. However, there have been many, many people in my career who have beaten me once, then got a good contract.”
Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge), 2nd in Stage One:
Racing against Cavendish: ’It feels little bit surreal. It’s kind of weird racing him, I guess. I was always watching him growing up, and now actually racing him, and not just racing with him, but, you know, when you’re right up there sprinting against him, it’s a pretty surreal feeling. I’m not happy with second, though. I think, if had a better run, I could almost beat him. I came from way too far back. It was really close on the line. If I had a better run, it could have been a bit closer.’
Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF), 3rd in Stage One:
‘I hoped to do well today. I’m happy with my third place. I am always trying to improve and I know that I can do even better. «In the last two circuits, my team-mates protected me well. I had to come from a long way back but this performance gives me great hope for the rest of the TUR.’
Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare), leader of the mountains competition and the Beauties of Turkey competition:
Leading two competitions: Before the stage, the team asked me to get into the breakaway and to target as many classifications as possible. I won all three intermediate sprints of the day, so I couldn’t have done any better. I felt good, and the journey to Turkey from my home village, Tezze sul Brenta, near Bassano del Grappa in the province of Vicenza in Italy, was pretty straighforward. It’s my first time in this country, in my first year as a pro. Of the competitions I’m leading, I think that the Beauties of Turkey Sprints gives me the best chance of winning a jersey at the end of the week, so I’ll see in the coming days if I get the chance to get into another breakaway.’
Patrick Lefévère (manager d’Etixx-Quick Step):
Winning is never easy: With a team like the one we have brought to Turkey, we always had a good chance of winning today with Mark Cavendish. We don’t have a GC rider here but, with Tom Boonen and the rest of them, we have plenty of men to prepare the sprints. Seeing that Mark won four stages here last year, we were confident, although winning is never easy. He hasn’t ridden since Gand-Wevelgem. He wanted to start the season really strongly, so it was important for him to take a break. The second part of the season starts here. This is where he begins his preparation for the Tour de France.’
TOMORROW: Monday 27 April: Stage 2 – Alanya – Antalya
Signing-in ceremony: 9.35-10.15 all timings local (EET)
Stage start: 10.30
Historical and Cultural Itinerary.
km 0 – 187.3 to go – Alarahan Caravanserai (36° 41′ 54.1″ N, 31° 43′ 46.45″ E): the most famous and best preserved Anatolian caravanserai (a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey), and a unique architectural masterpiece. A 13th century Seljuq building (The Seljuq dynasty was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually adopted Persian culture. The Seljuqs established both the Seljuq Empire and Sultanate of Rum, from Anatolia to Persia. They were targets of the First Crusade). The building possesses one of the most complex plans of any caravanserai ever built. Two outer rings surround a central core. Historians assume that the inner ring was reserved for travellers and goods, whilst the outer ring was for services and animal stabling. It had its own mosque and baths. The 2-metre thick walls are constructed from carefully joined, accurately hewn limestone blocks. Each quarryman carved his mark on the stones he had shaped (probably for payment purposes): no similar structures possess such a variety of carving. Most caravanserais of the time were lit by small slit windows in their exterior walls, whereas Alarahan used 79 lion head sculptures to feed oil lamps. These Anatolian Lions symbolized Seljuk power, and are found frequently in Seljuk art. Just 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean coastline, for centuries Alarahan served traders and merchants who carried their goods on the Alanya-Antalya and Alanya-Konya-Ankara roads. When the Silk Road lost its importance, Alarahan was turned into a dormitory for dervishes and it was abandoned by the 19th century.
km 24.5 – 157.5 km to go – Alara Castle (Turkish: Alara Kalesi) (8.4 km inland from Okurcalar, 36° 41′ 54.1″ N, 31° 43′ 46.45″ E): built under the Byzantine Empire, in the 11th century Alara Castle became the western outpost of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (1080-1375). Situated on a steep massif over the east bank of Alara River, it protected the caravans from highway robberies that were stopping over at the last caravanserai Alarahan on the Silk Road to the sea, situated 300–400 m (980–1,310 ft) further south.
km 54.0 – 128.3 km to go – Turkish Beauties Sprint Prime: Manavgat Waterfall (36° 48′ 48″ N – 31° 27′ 15” E). Though the fall is only a few metres high, the riverbed is wide and the flow high enough to make the falls thundering and white. 1 km further north is the Little Waterfall, a somewhat smaller and less noisy version. Near the coast just south of Manavgat is the crescent-shaped Lake Titreyengöl or ‘trembling lake,’ (36° 45′ 21″ N 31° 27′ 11″ E), covering 3000 square metres. There are daily cruises on Manavgat River, between the city and the Titreyengöl area downriver, near where the river empties into the Mediterranean.
km 57.7 – 124.6 km to go – SELEUKEIA (LYRBE) (36° 52′ 26.4″ N, 31° 28′ 33.6″ E): ancient Greek city on a hilltop with steep escarpments on several sides making a strong defensive position. Because of its remote location, the site has not been plundered for building materials, so the area is still littered with columns, large grindstones for flour making etc. There are remains of an agora containing a row of two-storey and three-storey building façades, a gate, a mausoleum, a Roman bath, a necropolis, in addition to several temples and churches.
km 62.3 – 120.0 km to go – exit for the road leading to the coast and the site of ancient Side (36° 46′ 00″ N, 31° 23′ 20″ E): founded by Greek settlers from Cyme in Aeolis, a region of western Anatolia, probably in the seventh century B.C. Alexander the Great occupied Side, without violence, in 333 B.C.,introducing the town to Hellenistic culture, which flourished from the fourth to the first century B.C. After Alexander’s death, Side fell under the control of one of his generals, Ptolemy I Soter, who declared himself King of Egypt in 305 B.C. The Ptolemaic dynasty controlled Side until it was captured by the Seleucid Empire in the second century B.C. Despite these occupations, Side managed to preserve some autonomy, grew prosperous, and became an important cultural centre. Between 188 and 36 B.C. Side minted its own money, tetradrachms, showing Nike and a laurel wreath (the sign of victory). A combination of earthquakes, Christian zealots and Arab raids, led to the site being abandoned by the 10th century. Side’s citizens emigrated to nearby Antalya. In 1895, Greek Muslim refugees from Crete moved to Side and called their town Selimiye.
km 85 – 97.3 to go (just after the feed zone) – EURYMEDON BRIDGE (KOPRUPAZAR) (36° 54′ 51.23″ N, 31° 9′ 46.79″ E) The Eurymedon Bridge was a late Roman bridge over the river Eurymedon (modern Köprüçay), near Aspendos in Pamphylia in southern Anatolia. The foundations and several remnants (spolia) of the Roman structure were used by the Seljuqs to build a new bridge in the 13th century, the Köprüpazar Köprüsü, which stands to this day. The bridge is marked by a significant displacement of its course in the middle, following the ancient piers. Restoration works in the late 1990s in the bridge’s crumbling breastwork also revealed stone inscriptions in Greek and Arabic.
km 90.0 – 92.3 km to go – junction for the road leading 3.5 km north to Aspendos (36° 56′ 20″ N, 31° 10′ 20″ E), the site of an ancient Pamphylian city, known for the best preserved ancient amphitheatre in the world, built in 155 A.D. by the architect Zenon, a native of the city, during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. In keeping with Hellenistic traditions, a small part of the theatre was built so that it leaned against the hill where the Citadel (Acropolis) stood. The remainder was built on vaulted arches.. With a diameter of 96 metres, the theatre provided seating for 15,000 people and is probably the finest ever built. The Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival offers an annual season of productions in the theatre in the spring and early summer.
Nearby stand the remains of a basilica, agora, nymphaeum and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) of a Roman aqueduct.
Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia. It was situated on the Eurymedon River, about 16 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean Sea. It shared a border with, and was hostile to, Side. The Hittites recorded a city called Asitawanda, where they traded horses, which was probably the Bronze Age name of Aspendos. This suggests that, like Perge, Aspendos was established long before the Iron Age.
Aspendos was one of the earliest cities to mint coins, first staters and later drachmas. The wide range of its coinage found throughout the ancient world indicates that, by the 5th century B.C., the Greek city had become the most important in Pamphylia. At that time the Eurymedon River was navigable as far as Aspendos, and the city derived great wealth from a trade in salt, oil, and wool. Aspendos continued to issue coins until the late Roman period.
In 333 B.C., Aspendos paid Alexander the Great a levy to avoid being garrisoned. It ignored its agreements with him, and later was occupied. In 190 B.C. the city surrendered to the Romans, who later pillaged it of its artistic treasures.
Aspendos went into decline towards the end of the Roman period. This decline continued throughout Byzantine times.
km 108.8 – 73.5 km to go (just after the Intermediate Sprint) – Sillyon (36° 59′ 36″ N , 30° 59′ 24″ E). According to one legend, the city was founded as a colony from Argos, while another holds that it was founded, along with Side and Aspendos, by the seers Mopsos, Calchas and Amphilochus after the Trojan War. In 333 BC, Alexander the Great is said to have unsuccessfully besieged it. Under the Byzantine Empire, the city rose to relative prominence. It is mentioned as the place where an Arab fleet was destroyed by a storm in late 677 or 678, after the unsuccessful Arab Siege of Constantinople.
The ruins of Sillyon/Syllaion date from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and partly Seljuk eras. There are the remains of city gates, a stadium, an amphitheatre and an odeon (some of which have tumbled because of a landslide), a temple, a water tower and a gymnasium.
km 117.7 – 64.6 km to go – Perge (36°57′41″N 30°51′14″E) : an ancient and important city of Pamphylia, between the rivers Catarrhactes and Cestrus, renowned for the worship of Artemis, whose temple stood on a hill outside the town, and in whose honour annual festivals were celebrated. Coins minted at Perge show the goddess and her temple.
In 46 A.D., according to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul journeyed to Perga, continued on to Antiocheia in Pisidia, then returned to Perga where he preached the word of God (Acts 14:25). Then he left and went to Attaleia.
In the first half of the 4th century, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine (324-337), Perga became an important centre of Christianity, which became the official religion of the Roman Empire. St. Matrona of Perge of the 6th century was a female saint known for temporarily cross-dressing to avoid her abusive husband.
Perga is today an archaeological site and a tourist attraction. The ruins include a theatre, a palæstra, a temple of Artemis and two churches. The temple of Artemis was located outside the town. Perga’s most celebrated ancient inhabitant, the mathematician Apollonius (c.262 BC – c.190 BC), lived and worked there. He wrote a series of eight books describing a family of curves known as conic sections, comprising the circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.
km 182.3 (stage finish): Konyaaltı Beach (Konyaaltı Plaji): one of the two main beaches of Antalya, the other being Lara Beach. Located on the western side of the city, the beach stretches for 7 km from the cliffs to the Beydağları mountains. It is bound inwards by the beach park and numerous bars, cafes, nightclubs and hotels, including the Rixos Downtown Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Voyager Hotel). The ‚Aqualand‘ waterpark along Dumlupınar Bulvarı is the other border.
In 1st century BC the Pergamum king Attalus ordered his men to find the most beautiful place on earth, which he called ‘heaven on earth’. Finding the area after a long search, hie men ar said to have declared ’This must be heaven‘ and King Attalus founded a city here, naming it Attaleia. When the Romans took over the Pergamene Kingdom, Attaleia became an outstanding Roman city which the great Roman Emperor Hadrian visited in 130 AD; an arch was built in his honour which is now worth seeing. Then came the Byzantines, after which the Seljuk Turks took over the city in 1207 and gave it a different name, Adalya, and built the Yivli Minaret. The Ottomans followed the Seljuks and finally within the Turkish Republic it became a Turkish city and an important port. Antalya has been growing rapidly since 1960.
Today, the Antalya coast is sometimes referred to as the Turkish Riviera.
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