Mark Cavendish recovered from being dropped on the final climb to win the sprint to Izmir and take his third stage of this year’s Tour of Turkey.
The Etixx-Quick-Step man can thank his teammates for getting him back into the leading group after the pace forced him to drop back on the category one climb that came in the final 30km.
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Surrounded by a number of his colleagues, including lead-out men Mark Renshaw and Tom Boonen, Cavendish summited the climb a minute behind the lead group, which included green jersey wearer Sacha Modolo.
But the chasing pack bridged the gap with 12km to go, allowing Etixx time to recover before setting up their sprint train.
As we’ve seen so many times in the past, Cavendish looked to lose the wheel of Renshaw in the final kilometres, but the Manxman weaved through the pack to find the Australian once more.
Cavendish opened the sprint first, with Modolo unable to keep pace, and the Brit kept his speed to the line, crossing ahead of Andrea Piechele (Bardiani-CSF) and Kristian Sbaraglia (MTN-Qhubeka).
With another flat stage to close out the race in Istanbul on Sunday, Cavendish will be favourite to win his fourth stage, as Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) looks set to seal the overall title.
Tour of Turkey, stage seven: Selçuk-Izmir (165km)
1. Mark Cavendish (Gbr) Etixx-Quick-Step, 3:59:49
2. Andrea Piechele (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
3. Kristian Sbaraglia (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka, st
4. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast, st
5. Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-GreenEdge, st
6. Daniele Ratto (Ita) UnitedHealtcare, st
7. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche, st
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, st
9. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli, st
10. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana, st
1. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida, 28:21:23
2. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi, at 21sec
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche, at 32sec
4. Jay McCarthey (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 1m14
5. Alex Cano (Col) Team Colombia, at 1m30
6. Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN-Qhubeka, at 1m32
7. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 2m05
8. Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF, at 2m08
9. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Soudal, at 2m18
10. Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Torku Şekerspor, at 2m20