Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) claimed the opening stage of the 2015 Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Sunday.

Cavendish won the bunch sprint after a perfect lead-out from the Etixx squad at the end of the 145-kilometre stage looping around Alanya. Australian prodigy Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) placed second, with Italian Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) in third.

Nicola Ruffoni, Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewen on the podium after Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour of Turkey

Nicola Ruffoni, Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewen on the podium after Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour of Turkey

Cavendish’s win means that he wears the leader’s jersey going into Monday’s second stage Alanya to Antalya covering 182 kilometres. It’s the Manxman’s seventh victory of the season – only Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Richie Porte (Sky) have won more, with 11 and nine wins respectively.

“This is… my first race back after taking some time off,” said Cavendish after the win. “I got sick in South Africa and had to stop and get over the virus. Just to stop and reset everything and to now get going again, it is quite nice.

“I don’t think I’m in as good condition as I could have been without the interruption, but I am definitely happy where I am and also with the strong team of Etixx-QuickStep. We’ll keep going and try to win more at this race.”

The eight-stage, UCI 2.HC-ranked Tour of Turkey concludes on May 3. Last year’s race was won by British rider Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), but he is not present to defend his title this year. Cavendish won four stages and the points classification.

After the Tour of Turkey, Cavendish will take part in the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse before the Tour de France in July.

>>> Mark Cavendish confirms race build-up to the Tour de France

Results
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2015, stage one: Alanya to Alanya, 145km
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx-QuickStep in 3-17-58
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Theo Bos (Ned) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Michael Kolar (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Daniele Ratto (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
8. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
9. Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast all same time

Overall classification after stage one
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx-QuickStep in 3-17-58
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Theo Bos (Ned) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Michael Kolar (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Daniele Ratto (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
8. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
9. Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast all same time

  • The Bolton Bullet

    Grow up.

  • Baz Elvin

    A most eloquent rejoinder, Rupert.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    You silly bugger.

  • yfgsdf

    Cav can’t win without blocking other riders.