AFP / Yuzuru Sunada
British sprint star Mark Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma team, won the fourth stage of the Tour of Turkey on Wednesday between Fethiye and Marmaris as Estonia’s Rein Taaramae retained the overall race lead. It was Cavendish’s third stage win of the race after he took the opening two stages. He followed up victories on Sunday and Monday by comfortably beating Argentina’s Maximiliano Richeze of Lampre and his Australian team-mate Mark Renshaw in a sprint finish.
The 132km race was neutralized for a short while early on after heavy rainfall before a five-man breakaway opened up a lead of 3min 30sec on the peloton with just 11km remaining. They were eventually reeled in as Taaramae, of the Cofidis team, retained the overall leader’s jersey with a margin of six seconds over Adam Yates of Great Britain and Romain Hardy of France.
“The guys were absolutely perfect again today,” Cavendish said. “They were perfect the entire day, not just in the leadout. It’s nice to have a team around me at this race where every guy is riding incredible. They never left my side. Even on the last climb it was like riding in a bubble. I was surrounded by OPQS protecting me and guiding me. We got to the front just before the bottom of the climb and we kept the control until the sprint. They were phenomenal. The leadout was just another example of the perfect job by the guys. Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw were super fast and they delivered me in the best position to launch the sprint. I would also like to congratulate the race commissaires and the organizers for the fact that they neutralized the race. It’s nice to see a race choose the safety of the riders as the top priority. We didn’t race for about 10 kilometers and then we started again. When they neutralized the race it was difficult to ride and handle the bike, it was like riding on marbles. So, the right decision was made without a doubt. Tomorrow is another stage for the sprinters. Even if the beginning is a bit difficult we will see what can happen with our team riding so strong.”
Friday’s fifth stage will be a 183km ride from Marmaris to Bodrum.
Tour of Turkey Stage 4
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega) 3:14:23
2. Maximiliano Richeze Ariel (ARG/Lampre) @ s.t.
3. Mark Renshaw (AUS/Omega)
4. Kristian Sbaragli (ITA/MTN)
5. Elia Viviani (Ita/Cannondale)
General Classification After Stage 4
1. Rein Taaramae (EST/Cofidis) 12:46:31
2. Adam Yates (GBR/OGE) @ :06
3. Romain Hardy (FRA/Cofidis) @ :38
4. Luis-Leon Sanchez Gil (ESP/CJR) @ s.t
5. Merhawi Kudus (ERI/MTN)