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Renshaw Edges Goss by Razor-Thin Margin in Tour of Turkey Stage Four

By James Fish
Epoch Times Staff
Created: April 25, 2012 Last Updated: April 29, 2012
Related articles: Sports » Cycling
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Mark Renshaw of Rabobank beatsMatthew Goss of GreenEdge by millimeters at the finish line of Stage Four of the Tour of Turkey. (TourofTurkey.org)

Mark Renshaw of Rabobank beatsMatthew Goss of GreenEdge by millimeters at the finish line of Stage Four of the Tour of Turkey. (TourofTurkey.org)

After a stage of non-stop attacks—the last not caught until 200 meters from the line—Renshaw, who spent the last few years leading out Mark Cavendish, showed he is a winning sprinter in his own right.

The finish was so close Renshaw didn’t know he had won.

“Until they told me after the finish, I didn’t know the answer,” he told Eurosport. “I knew it was really close.

“I know Matt Goss really well—we train together in Monaco—and I think after the line we both looked at each other and went, ‘Who got that?’

“I had my fingers crossed. Just the one tenth of a second that I threw my bike before his—I think that made the little difference.

“It’s starting to come together now, Rabobank; it’s taken a little while. I’ve been hunting this victory for as long time; to finally to put a run up on the board, I’m ecstatic.”

Ivailo Gabrovski of Konya Torku held on to the leader’s turquoise jersey. The Bulgarian champion, riding for a Turkish Continental team against the much more powerful ProTour squads, had to try to cover every attack alone—without race radios, he had a hard time knowing which riders might be General Classification threats.

Luckily for the plucky Konya Torku rider, tomorrow’s is a sprint stage; he will not have to burn himself out chasing every rider who goes up the road.

Stage Four, 132 km from Fethiye to Marmaris, was very hilly. With only one categorized climb but very little flat road, this was a great stage for a breakaway and equally well suited for a sprint.

“It wasn’t a flat stage at all,” Renshaw commented. “It was only short, but often that produces the best racing. We saw today, we had three climbs in the start and then quite a tough climb at the finish—it’s quite exciting having the short racing. I think Tour of Turkey has done well with the parcours this year.”

Next: Many Breakaways, All Caught

Diego Caccia leads Assan Bazayev and the two Katusha riders on the break of the day. (TourofTurkey.org)

Diego Caccia leads Assan Bazayev and the two Katusha riders on the break of the day. (TourofTurkey.org)

Many Breakaways, All Caught

The hilly route with wide, fast descents was perfect for breakaways, several groups tried and were brought back before four riders—Assan Bazayev (Astana,) Vladimir Gusev and Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha,) and Diego Caccia (Farnese-Vini)—got away just before the halfway point

Vladimir Gusev was the best-placed rider in the break, 3:36 down. He and Ignatyez were former Russian time trial champions, and they made the most of the break, opening a four-minute lead at one point.

A chase group of Theo Bos (Rabobank,) Christopher Juul Jensen (Saxo Bank,) Huseyin Ozcan (Konya Torku,) and Leonardo Giordani (Farnese) took off 30 km later, but faded with about 35 km to go.

Konya Torku desperately needed to catch the breakaway to save the turquoise jersey, but lacked the firepower. Luckily, some of the major sprinters’ teams, like Europcar, GreenEdge, Colnago, and Omega Pharma-Lotto, didn’t have a rider in the break and wanted to pull it back for a sprint finish.

Gusev and Ignatyev pushed hard actually increasing the lead even after the chase started, but the hills, though not considered serious enough to be categorized, were still enough to hurt. Ignatyev cracked on the second-to-last big climb.

Lotto-Belisol’s Adam Hanson attacked at the start of this climb. Ivailo Grabovski covered this attack, as he had covered every attack except the one that got away.  

With 20 km to go Astana’s Alexandr Vinokourov attacked; Gabrovski covered that as well.

Colnago moved to the head of the peloton, pushing the pace until, with 15 km left to race, Gusev and Basayev gave up, leaving C to proceed on his own. This was a huge boon to Konya Torku: Caccia was 9:09 down in GC, and in no way a threat. The Farnese rider only lasted another three km anyway, before he was swept up.

The next seven kilometers saw a handful of attacks: Colombia Coldeportes’ Fabio Duarte went first, followed by Gabrovski (perhaps he didn’t realize Duarte was 7:24 down.) After he was caught and caught his breath, Duarte tried again. That failed; he waited another kilometer and then went again with Bretagne-Schuller’s Geoffroy Lequatre and Ag2R’s Romain Bardet.

Bardet led another attack, with Colombia’s Johan Chavez and Aastana’s Alexandr Dayachenko. Gabrovski had to cover this attack; Dayachenko was second in GC. Bardet tried one more attack before the crest of the final climb.

Fifth-placed Romain Bardet explained his numerous attacks to velonation.com: “If it was useless to attack the leader, I would not even try. I don’t believe my gap is impossible to bridge. The leader is very strong but he will not be able to keep jumping after everyone if we keep attacking him like we did today.”

GreenEdge led the very fast descent; the pace was too high for any more attacks until the peloton entered the town of Marmaris. Here Rabobank took the lead, pulling for Renshaw (the team’s other big sprinter, Theo Bos, was active in the early chases; the pair swap duties as leadout and sprinter.)

Mark Renshaw (L) beat Matt Goss (3R) to the line to take the ninth win of his career. (TourofTurkey.org)

Mark Renshaw (L) beat Matt Goss (3R) to the line to take the ninth win of his career. (TourofTurkey.org)

A Netapp rider attacked in the final kilometer; he was caught with 200 meters to go when Renshaw launched his sprint, with Matthew Goss right on his shoulder. This pair went neck-and-neck to the line, where they were so close even the photo finish hardly showed a difference.

Stage Five, 178 km from Marmaris to Turgutreis, is another lumpy stage which will probably end with a sprint. Again there is a single Cat 2 climb in the first third, a major climb in the middle, and lots of small hills all the way to the finish, with a sharp kick and then a downhill finish.

Tour of Turkey Stage Four

 

rider

team

time

1

Mark Renshaw

Rabobank

3:14:01

2

Matthew Harley Goss

 Greenedge

 

3

Daniele Colli

 Team Type 1-Sanofi

 

4

Boy Van Poppel

 UnitedHealthcare

 

5

Davide Vigano

 Lampre-ISD

 

6

Alexey Tsatevitch

 Katusha

 

7

Florian Vachon

 Bretagne-Schulle

 

8

James Van Landschoot

 Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda

 

9

Lucas Sebastien Haedo

 Saxo Bank

 

10

Sébastien Turgot

 Europcar

 

General Classification after Stage 4

 

rider

team

time

1

Ivaïlo Gabrovski

Konya Torku

13:57:05

2

Alexandr Dyachenko

Astana

0:01:33

3

Danail Andonov

Caja Rural

0:01:38

4

Adrian Palomares

Andalucia

0:01:44

5

Romain Bardet

AG2R

0:02:01

6

Alexander Efimkin

 Team Type 1-Sanofi

0:02:23

7

Florian Guillou

 Bretagne-Schulle

0:02:29

8

Enrico Battaglin

Colnago

0:02:48

9

Michal Golas

Omega Pharma-Quickstep

0:03:02

10

William Routley

Spidertech

 0:03:05




   

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