Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) showed his class by edging out Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the final 500m to claim stage six of the 2019 Tour of Turkey.
Bennett looked to win a third stage victory as he tried to distance the bunch with 1km to go. However, Ewan and Jakobsen countered, catching Bennett with 500m left and Ewan sprinted clear around the final corner to claim his second stage victory of the week.
Jakobsen was next across the line, followed by Bennett, who had already been confirmed as the winner of the green jersey after the breakaway swept up the intermediate sprint points earlier in the day.
After taking a 19 second lead in the overall classification on stage five, Felix Grossschartner’s (Bora-Hansgrohe) lead was insurmountable, but the Austrian battle to finish eighth and seal his first stage race victory as a senior.
The Italian Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) finished second overall, followed by Merhawi Kudus (Astana) 25 seconds behind Grossschartner.
How it happened
After the previous day’s queen stage which saw the summit finish reduced by 5.5km due to heavy snowfall, stage six was a flatter affair, with a small incline up to the sprint finish. Therefore, Grossschartner’s hard work to take the stage victory meant he just had to stay upright to claim the overall win.
Welshman Scott Davies (Dimension Data) took a huge pull on the front during stage five on the roads up to the Kartepe, but didn’t take the start today.
Soon after the flag dropped, the breakaway of the day formed, with six riders taking more than a minute’s advantage on the peloton after just 5km. The group consisted of Mauricio Moreira (Caja Rural), Lorenzo Fortunato (Neri), Hayato Yoshida (Nippo), Emerson Oronte (Rally), Thimo Willems (Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Ahmet Akdilek (Turkey).
Once the breakaway group passed through the intermediate sprint near the 30km mark, Sam Bennett was mathematically awarded the green jersey, being 17 points ahead of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), as long as he finished the stage within the time limit.
The break extended their lead to above the five minute mark, but were slowly reeled in, the catch occurring with just 5.5km to go.
The now strung out peloton hurtled into Istanbul, with Sam Bennett at the front with a number of Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, with Bennett attacking just before 1km to go. The Irishman failed to open up a significant gap as Ewan and Jakobsen followed in pursuit, catching him with 500m to go.
Ewan led them around the final corner before making his move, breaking clear with Jakobsen and Bennett behind, taking his second stage win of the race.
Tour of Turkey 2019 stage six: Sakarya to Istanbul (172.4km)
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal, 4-10-41
2.Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 1 second
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 4s
4. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
5. Jon Aberasturi (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 7s
6. Enrique Sanz (Esp) Euskadi Basque Country – Murias
7. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Imerio Cima (Ita) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè
10. Eduard Michael Grosu (Rou) Delko-Marseille Provence, all at same time
General classification after stage six
1. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 24-53-58
2. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirataes, at 19 seconds
3. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana, at 25s
4. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 53s
5. Edgar Pinto (Por) W52-Porto, at 59s
6. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-12
7. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko – Marseille Provence, at 1-29
8. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Manzana Postobon, at 1-31
9. Gonzalo Serrano (Esp) Caja Rural – Seguros RGA, at 1-42
10. Kyle Murphy (Usa) Rally UHC, at 1-48