Sacha Modolo brilliant in uphill sprint at Pamukkale (Stage 5, Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey)

Rebellin extends lead in Turquoise Jersey, Modolo in Green
For full stage results, go to

Pamukkale Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida) won a difficult uphill sprint in stage 5 of the 51st Presidential Tour of Turkey, Muğla – Pamukkale. 159.9 km. Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) was second, and Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff – Saxo), who is fourth in the General classification, was third in the stage.

Modolo also took the lead in the points competition, and was presented with the Green jersey, sponsored by the Turkish bicycle marque Salcano, on the podium.

In Modolo’s wake, Rebellin added 15 seconds to his lead over second-placed Kristijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida).
Bilder oder Fotos hochladen

Sacha Modolo soars to victory at Pamukkale
(Click through for Hi Res. Photo credit: Tour of Turkey/Brian Hodes)

Result, Stage 5 – Fethiye – Marmaris
1. Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida) 160 km in 4h06’19”, ave. speed 38.974 kmh
2. Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) s.t.
3. Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff – Saxo) s.t.
4. Michael Kolar (Tinkoff – Saxo) s.t.
5. Manuel Belletti (Southeast) s.t.

General Classification
1. Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice)
2. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre – Merida) at 22s
3. Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne – Séché Environnement) at 54s
4. Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff – Saxo) at 1m20s
5. Serge Pauwels (MTN – Qhubeka) at 1m38s

Turquoise, sponsored by Spor Toto (General Classification): Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprindi Polowice)
Green, Salcano (Points): Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)
Red, Turkish Airlines (Mountains): Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia)
White, Vestel (Beauties of Turkey): Lluis Mas (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

The story of today’s race
The day began with news that yesterday’s stage winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal, dossard 31), would not start the stage. This change the complexion of the race: Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal, 36), so strong in the final kilometres yesterday, and tenth at the Pamukkale stage finish in 2011, was potentially the new team leader. He appeared at the start line cleanly shaven, to take up the challenge.

The reshaped Lotto Soudal team was quickly active in the stage. After a little over twenty minutes of racing, three riders broke free and established the early breakaway. They were Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal, 35), Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare, 181) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty – Groupe Goubert, 197).

Going into the stage, none of the three had any points in the mountains or Beauties of Turkey sprints competitions. With a maximum of 8 mountain points available in the stage, Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, 118) could be content: if the breakaway stayed clear, he would retain his lead in the Red Jersey competition, sponsored by Turkish Airlines. Bazzana was in a position to defend the position of his team-mate, Federico Zurlo, equal on points with the competition leader Lluis Mas (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA). Even so, with only one Beauties of Turkey sprint per day, and five points, the danger was that yet another rider would take up position on 5 points, breathing over the shoulders of Mas and Zurlo.

The leading trio built a maximum lead of 7m 11s.

The Category 3 climb after 74.9 km ended.
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal, 35) 5 pts
2. Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty – Groupe Goubert, 197) 3 pts
3. Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare, 181) 2 pts
4. Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, 118) 1 pt
Valencia therefore added to his lead in the Red Jersey competition, sponsored by Turkish Airlines. With 16 points, he was now 6 points ahead of his closest rivals – Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polowice) and Songezo Jim (MTN – Qhubeka) –

The intermediate sprint after 100.4 km ended:
1. Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare, 181) 5 pts
2. Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty – Groupe Goubert, 197) 3 pts
3. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal, 35) 1 pt
Bazzana found himself 150 Swiss Francs richer, while the lead of Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick Step) in the Green Jersey competition, sponsored by the Turkish bicycle marque Salcano, was unaffected.

Bazzana, Veuchelen and De Gendt were then caught by a group of 9 riders that had attacked from the peloton: Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal, 33), Damien Howson (Orica GreenEdge, 43), Davide Appollonio (Androni Giocattoli, 61), Frédéric Brun (Bretagne – Seché Environnement, 82), Ferrari (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA, 93), Natnael Berhane (MTN – Qhubeka, 134), Songezo Jim (MTN – Qhubeka, 134), Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaandered – Baloise, 177) and Ahmet Akdilek (Torku Şekerspor, 202).

These nine built a maximum lead of 42 seconds.

Inside 43 km to go, Lluis Mas (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) attacked from the front of the peloton, hoping to cross to the 9 man breakaway, but was chased down by the peloton, led by Etixx – Quick Step riders.

The Category 3 climb after 111.5 km ended:
1. Songezo Jim (MTN – Qhubeka, 134) 5 pts
2. Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaandered – Baloise, 177) 3 pts
3. Davide Appollonio (Androni Giocattoli, 61) 1 pt
Jim now had 15 points in the mountains jersey, just one less than Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia, 118). The mountains competition was turning into a nail biter.

The chase, at very high speed, neutralised the attack and, with 123 km to go, the peloton was compact again.

Within 30 kms of the stage finish, another small group made off the front of the peloton:

Nazim Bakurci (Torku Şekerspor, 204), Jan Ghyselinck (Wanty – Groupe Goubert, 193) and, incredibly, Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare, 181), again. When they were caught, another Torku Şekerspor, perhaps Muhammet Ataly (203), attacked, but was quickly caught by the peloton, led by five UnitedHealthcare riders, setting up the sprint for Federico Zurlo.

The Beauties of Turkey sprint at km 139, dedicated to the extraordinary ancient ruins at Hierapolis and Afrodisias, looked ike a stage finish, with Lluis Mas (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) on one side of the road, and Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare) on the other. Mas took it, with Zurlo second and
1. Lluis Mas (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA, 96) 5 pts.
2. Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare, 188) 3 pts
3.? (Topsport Vlaandered – Baloise) 1 pt
Mas consolidated his lead in this magnificent White Jersey competition, which he now leads by 2 clear points.

Just after the sprint, Dmitri Gruzdev (Astana Pro Team, 54), had an attack off the front, but, by now, the sprint teams – Etixx – Quick Step and Bardiani CSF were at the front, keeping the pace too high for a solo attack even by the twice and former Asian continental time trial champion.

The inevitable sprint finish ended in favour of the Italian sprinter Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida), who took the second win of his Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey career after Stage 6, Bodrum-Kusadasi, in the 2012 TUR. The stage winner’s haul of 15 points gave Modolo the lead in the points jersey. He received the Green jersey, sponsored by the Turkish bicycle marque Salcano, on the podium.


Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida), winner, stage five
Q: Tell us about the stage finish.
A: I didn’t know much about it! I was a bit behind with 1 km to go. I might have touched a wheel, or someone might have touched me from behind, but I nearly came to a halt and I had to start almost from a standstill. Then again, other riders were coming backwards at me. This is my type of finish. I had good legs and I left at 200m. I didn’t want to miss the stages that really suit me. After yesterday’s stage got away from me, I wanted to win today.
Q: Your ride in last year’s TUR was very different. Why the change?
A: Last year, I had another programme. I knew that after the Tour of Turkey I would finish a block of racing. Last year I came here after a fall at Roubaix, and I wasn’t going well. I had two broken ribs, which is why I abandoned. Since I was going to take a break afterwards anyway, it made no sense not to.
This year, I wanted to come to prepare for the Giro d’Italia, but also to win a stage so that I would go to the Giro d’Italia with a good mentality. I have been strong since January. but i haven’t won a race. Even so, I have prepared all, and this is the confirmation.
Q: What is your program after the TUR?
A: The Giro d’Italia, then the Tour de Suisse, and then we’ll see. Cassini has convoked me of the European Championships. I’ve told him that, if I’m good, I’ll do it with pleasure, but if I’m not going well, there’s no point in taking a slot away from someone who is in form. But I’d like to go. Then I’ll take a break, because I’ve been racing hard since January. After that, we’ll see.
Q: The seventh stage has a big climb before the finish? Can you get over it and win the stage?
A: Yes! And then, in Istanbul, we’ll see. I rode the finish in 2010, when it was the opening time trial [Ed: won by Greipel. Modolo finished 22nd]. It’s an unknown. But there was lots of climbing today, so why shouldn’t I be able to win the last stage?
Q: Does this win give you confidence going into the Giro d’Italia?
A: Yes, I wanted this win. In January, I came up against Gaviria and Cavendish in Argentina. And since then, I haven’t competed in a sprint. I fell on stage one of Tirreno, so I wasn’t involved there. I restarted sprinting at De Panne, and here I really wanted a win.
Q: How is your second stage win at the TUR different from the first? This one is special because I didn’t beat sprinters today, I beat riders who are good clibmers. You had to have good legs to do that. On this stage, sprinters do not normally finish in the top ten, so this shows that I’m here, finally. This has been good for me.

Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), race leader overall
Q: How was your day?
A: It was demanding. The race route wasn’t easy, and there were many attacks again today. We knew that the sprinters teams would work towards the end, given the characteristics of the stage finish. I didn’t know the final, but I was told that it was uphill, so I wanted to be up front. I knew I had not to finish on the wrong side of any splits and lose time. So the main thing for me today was to stay up front.
Q: In tomorrow’s uphill finish, do you have one adversary or many?
A: Many. I’ve seen that Durasek is climbing strongly, although it’s a 4 km final climb tomorrow, with a hard finish. I mention him because he’s closest to me in GC. But McCarthy was very good today, so he could poe a threat. I expect a lot of attacks at the foot of the final climb tomorrow.
Q: If tomorrow’s stage finishes well for you, are you confident of victory?
A: Yes, Saturday, there is a 1st cat climb near the end, with a descent. It is dangerous terrain for whoever is strong -= their last chance. I’ll have to work hard with the team. This is very dangerous stage.

Juan Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia), Mountains category leader
It was a complicated stage for me because at the start, I hoped to get into the breakaway group. I tried, but the group got away. Then, on the 2nd Category climb, I was a bit behind, so I called my team for help to get up for the GPM. But then a second group of 8 or 10 got away, and the MTN – Qhubeka got all 5 points. I’ll do everything I can to keep the jersey.

Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), 2nd in the stage
It was a hard stage, with plenty of wind and lots of hard climbing, so everyone arrived at the sprint at the limits of their powers. I was strong, although I lost to Modolo by a small margin. It’s a good result: the standard is very high here, with the best sprinters in the world, so a second place here really means something. Cavendish probably found all the climbing hard, which opened the stage up a bit, and I gave it everything.

Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo), 3rd in the stage
It’s a good day for me. We prepared the sprint for Michael Kolar, but he went a bit too soon. I followed the sprint just to see how my rivals were, and I followed one or two of them. I couldn’t sprint as fast as Molodo but I’m on the podium and I’m happy with my good condition. I don’t think I used up too much energy in the final, and I can’t wait for tomorrow because the finish suits me even more than today.

Lluis Mas (Caja Rural), leader in the Beauties of Turkey sprints competition
It has been a good day for the team. We worked really hard to bring the peloton up to the breakaway so that I could try my hand in the sprint of the day, 20km from the stage finish. I won it, so I couldn’t have asked for more. But we didn’t stop there. In the final kilometres, we concentrated on putting our sprinter Carlos Barbero in a good position, and he achieved an excellent 2nd place.

1 May: Stage 6 – Denizli – Selcuk 184 km

Signing-in: 11-11.40 all times local (EET)
Stage start: 11.55

km 99 – 85 km to go – Nysa on the Maeander (37° 54′ 6″ N, 28° 8′ 48″ E) was an ancient city of Anatolia, whose remains are in the Sultanhisar district of Aydın Province of Turkey, 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the Ionian city of Ephesus. The term ‘meander’ derives from a river located in present-day Turkey and known to the Ancient Greeks as Μαίανδρος Maiandros (Latin: Maeander). In Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine was born or raised in Nysa or Nyssa (Ancient Greek: Νύσα or Νύσσα), a name that was consequently given to many towns in all parts of the world associated with cultivation of grapes. The name „Nysa“ is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad (Book 6.132-133), which refers to a hero named Lycurgus, „who once drove the nursing mothers of wine-crazed Dionysus over the sacred mountains of Nysa“. But the city on the Maeander was named instead for Nysa, a wife of Antiochus I Soter, who reigned from 281 to 261 BC and founded the city on the site of an earlier town called Athymbra (Ancient Greek Ἄθυμβρα), a name that continued in use until the second half of the 3rd century BC, but not in the earliest coinage of Nysa, which is of the next century.
The geographer Strabo began his studies under the rhetorician Aristodemus of Nysa the Younger, a grandson of the famous Posidonius, whose influence is manifest in Strabo’s Geography. Nysa was then a centre of study that specialized in Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Nysa was ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, the Roman Empire and its continuation, the Byzantine Empire and by the Turks, until its final abandonment after being sacked by Tamerlane in 1402.
The well-preserved Sultanhisar Amphitheatre (km 99, 37° 54′ 13.50″ N, 28° 8′ 42.97″ E), built during the Roman Imperial period, is famous for its freezes depicting the life of Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine. It has a capacity 12.000 people. The library dating from the 2nd century A.D. is considered to be Turkey’s second-best preserved ancient library structure after the „Celsus Library“ of Ephesus. The stadium of Nysa, which suffered from floods and is therefore partially damaged, has a capacity of 30,000 people. The bouleuterion (senate), later adapted as an odeon, with 12 rows of seats, offers room for up to 600-700 people. Other significant structures include the agora, gymnasion and the Roman baths. The 100 m long Nysa Bridge, a tunnel-like substructure, was the second largest of its kind in antiquity.

km 129 – 54 km to go – Tralleis (37°51’35.97″N – 27°50’10.45”E): According to Strabo Tralles was founded by the Argives and Trallians, a Thracian tribe. Along with the rest of Lydia, the city fell to the Persian Empire. After its success against Athens in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta unsuccessfully sought to take the city from the Persians, but in 334 BC, Tralles surrendered to Alexander the Great without resistance and therefore was not sacked. Alexander’s general Antigonus held the city from 313 to 301 BC and later the Seleucids held the city until 190 BC when it fell to Pergamon. From 133 to 129 BC, the city supported Aristonicus of Pergamon, a pretender to the Pergamene throne, against the Romans. After the Romans defeated him, they revoked the city’s right to mint coins.
Tralles was a conventus for a time under the Roman Republic, but Ephesus later took over that position. The city was taken by rebels during the Mithridatic War during which many Roman inhabitants were killed. Tralles suffered greatly from an earthquake in 26 BC. Augustus provided funds for its reconstruction after which the city thanked him by renaming itself Caesarea.
Strabo describes the city as a prosperous trading center, listing famous residents of the city, including Pythodoros (native of Nysa), and orators Damasus Scombrus and Dionysocles.

Apollonius of Tralles (in Caria) was a Greek sculptor who flourished in the 2nd century BCE. With his brother Tauriscus, he executed the largest single sculpture ever recovered from antiquity to date, the marble group known as the Farnese Bull, representing Zethus and Amphion tying the revengeful Dirce to the tail of a wild bull.

Anthemius of Tralles (c. 474 – before 558; Ancient Greek: Ἀνθέμιος ὁ Τραλλιανός) was a Greek professor of Geometry in Constantinople and architect, who collaborated with Isidore of Miletus to build the church of Hagia Sophia by the order of Justinian I.

km 164.4 – 19.6 km – Çamlık Railway Museum (37° 53′ 4.58″ N, 27° 22′ 54.65″ E): the largest railway museum in Turkey and contains one of the largest steam locomotive collections in Europe, located on the former part of the ORC mainline, the oldest line in Turkey, near the village Çamlık, very close to the famous historical site at Ephesus. The museum was started in 1991, and completed in 1997. It uses the original tracks built in 1866. The steam locomotive number 45501, one of the Simplon-Orient Express trains is exhibited in the museum. This locomotive was involved in the Yarımburgaz train disaster, a head-on collision of two trains that occurred near Yarımburgaz, Küçükçekmece, west of Istanbul in Turkey on October 20, 1957, leaving 95 dead and 150 wounded.

km 170.8 – 13.2 km to go – Selçuk: originally known as Agios Theologos, ‘John the Theologian,’ the name given to the author of the Biblical Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic text forming the final chapter of the New Testament. The text of Revelation states that the author is called John and that he lives on the Greek island of Patmos. In the 14th century, it was the capital of the Emirate of Aydin. Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk (Ottoman Turkish: Ayasluğ). In 1914, it was renamed Selçuk after the Seljuk Turks who first led incursions into the region in the 12th century.

175 km – 9 km to go – Ayasuluk Fortress (37° 57′ 18.27″ N , 27° 22′ 5.25″ E): situated in Ayasuluk Hill, the first and last settlement area in Ephesus, one of the most important archeological sites in Anatolia and the world. Also, Temple of Artemis (37° 56′ 59.41″ N, 27° 21′ 52.70″ E): The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were remarkable constructions of classical antiquity listed by various authors in guidebooks popular among the ancient Hellenic tourists, particularly in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC).They included the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, of which Antipater of Sidon, who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders, wrote:

I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, „Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand“.

Ephesus (km 179, 37° 56′ 14.93″ N, 27° 20′ 36.68″ E), one of the most important archeological sites in Anatolia and the world. The best-preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean region, and one of Turkey’s top sights along with Istanbul and Cappadocia. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated.
The third largest city of Roman Asia Minor after Sardis and Alexandria Troas, Ephesus was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths.
Great Theatre: built into the slope of Panayır Dağı, this is the Roman reconstruction (41-117 AD) of the earlier theatre built by Lysimachus. Though huge, with 25,000 seats, its ingenious engineering gives it excellent acoustics. It’s still used for performances and special events.
The Library of Celsus: a technological wonder, with double walls to keep out the damp and moderate the extremes of temperature, it is also perhaps the most beautiful building at Ephesus, finely restored.
Hillside Houses (Yamaç Evleri): the wealthy of Ephesus resided in these beautiful villas with mosaic floors and classic decoration. After years of painstaking and expensive restoration, they are open to visitors, and are well worth the extra TL15 admission fee.
The Temple of Hadrian: the head of Medusa is the most famous bit of decoration on this fine temple built in 118 AD to honor Emperor Hadrian (and extensively rebuilt several centuries later). Facing the temple across Curetes Way are ten shops. Note the fine mosaic in front of them.

Heraclitus of Ephesus (who said, Πάντα ῥεῖ (panta rhei) „everything flows“ – should be considered the philosopher of cycling! „All entities move and nothing remains still,“ ““We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not.“): famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe, as stated in the famous saying, „No man ever steps in the same river twice“ (see panta rhei, below). He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that „the path up and down are one and the same“, all existing entities being characterized by pairs of contrary properties.

km 184 – stage finish – House of Virgin Mary (37° 54′ 46.69″ N, 27° 19′ 58.49″ E): Ephesus was an important centre for Early Christianity from the AD 50s. From AD 52–54, Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the congregation and apparently organizing missionary activity into the hinterlands. He became embroiled in a dispute with artisans, whose livelihood depended on selling the statuettes of Artemis (Latin: Diana) in the Temple of Artemis (Diana) (Acts 19:23–41). Between 53 and 57 AD Paul wrote the letter in Corinthians from Ephesus (possibly from the ‚Paul tower‘ near the harbour, where he was imprisoned for a short time around 62 AD. Roman Asia was associated with John, one of the chief apostles, and the Gospel of John might have been written in Ephesus, c 90–100. Ephesus was one of the seven cities addressed in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 2:1–7), indicating that the church at Ephesus was strong. A legend, which was first mentioned by Epiphanius of Salamis in the 4th century AD, purported that Mary may have spent the last years of her life in Ephesus. The Ephesians derived the argument from John’s presence in the city, and Jesus’ instructions to John to take care of Mary after his death. Since the 19th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, about 7 km (4 mi) from Selçuk, has been considered to have been the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus in the Roman Catholic tradition, based on the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.

For live race updates, pre-race declarations, and further TUR information,
please follow us on Twitter at @tourofturkey #TUR2015