Following recent successes in Italy, France, and Portugal, Rally UHC Cycling continues its global tour in Istanbul this week for the 55th edition of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. The race marks the team’s first participation in a WorldTour event outside of North America.
Held in northwestern Turkey from April 16 – 21, the race circumnavigates the Sea of Marmara to the tune of 993 km over six stages. The team caught up with Rob Britton near the stage one start located one kilometer from the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest marketplaces that welcomes over 250,000 visitors daily.
“Turkey is an absolutely beautiful country,” said Britton. “I hope we can see more of it while we’re racing and not just staring at the wheels in front of us each day. I’ve heard good things about the race and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.”
The team’s participation at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey follows Brandon McNulty’s overall victory at the Giro di Sicilia. Britton was on hand to see how that level of success brings increased expectations and confidence.
“Sicily was an incredible experience for the whole team,” said Britton. “It was our first GC win in Europe, and also Brandon‘s first European victory which I know he really wanted. To be a part of that is special and to see the guys ride the way they did was really impressive. I think there’s a lot of momentum building in the team right now and I hope we can capitalize on it in Turkey and prove that we belong racing at this level.”
Looking ahead to the challenges of the coming week, the queen stage to Kartepe and its epic 12 km climb at 9% stood out to Britton.
“The mountaintop finish on stage five is a massive opportunity for myself and Kyle so I think it would be foolish to not take advantage of that,” said Britton. “We’ll have to wait and see about chasing the overall classification. We have some very fast riders in Pier-André Coté, Ty Magner, and John Murphy who will need all hands on deck to deliver them to the line as best as possible to deliver a top result. We can win here, but it will take every ounce of energy to get that win.”
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey roster
April 16: Stage 1 – Istanbul › Tekirdağ (156.7k), rolling
April 17: Stage 2 – Tekirdağ › Eceabat (183.3k), hilly early, uphill rise to finish
April 18: Stage 3 – Çanakkale › Edremit (122.6k), flat finale
April 19: Stage 4 – Balıkesir › Bursa (194.3k), 2.7 km climb at 4% to finish
April 20: Stage 5 – Bursa › Kartepe (164.1k), queen stage with 12 km climb at 9% to finish
April 21: Stage 6 – Sakarya › Istanbul (172.4k), rolling