Roche Climbs to Fifth Place on Tour of Turkey Queen Stage12. October 2018, Selçuk (TUR) — Road Team
Nicolas Roche crossed the line in fifth place on the summit finish to Selçuk and was closely followed by teammates Kilian Frankiny and Brent Bookwalter, who finished in 10th and 11th respectively.
After bunch sprint finishes on the first three stages, the queen stage delivered three categorized climbs, including the category two summit finish, across 205.5 kilometers, which set the stage for the first General Classification shake up.
Five riders initially formed the day’s breakaway, gaining a three-minute advantage, before three more riders bridged across just before the half-way mark.
The peloton slowly began to bring the group back and with 25 kilometers remaining, the breakaway’s advantage was down to 45 seconds, with two categorized climbs to come.
The breakaway began to splinter and at the top of the category three climb with 15 kilometres to go, the peloton was just 30 seconds behind.
Jempy Drucker was caught in a crash 12 kilometers before the finish line but was fortunately able to get back on his bike and make it back to the bunch, which caught the final breakaway riders with six kilometers to go.
Riders began to drop as the road started to rise but strong headwinds prevented any serious attacks in the opening kilometers.
Roche was always present at the front of the group and approaching the flamme rouge, Frankiny made his way to the front topull back a late move from Sergio Padilla (Team Caja Rural-RGA).
Roche led the small group with 300 meters to go but was overtaken with 200 meters remaining and was able to hold on for fifth place behind stages winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) while Frankiny and Bookwalter battled to the finish line in the same group.
With two stages to go, Roche sits in 10th on the General Classification, 12 seconds behind new race leader Lutsenko.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“There was a very strong wind the whole way up the climb which made it hard for any attacks. For me, it would have been better to have a strong GC team that could set a hard tempo. I was trying to cover attacks but also save some legs for the finale. In the end, I was boxed in with about 250 meters to go so fifth was the best result I could do.”
“I’m feeling pretty good now. I was really tired for about two weeks after the Vuelta a Espana but I always seem to do a good month in October every year. The only way to move up on GC now is to go for the sprints so we will see what happens in the next two days.”
Klaas Lodewyck, Sports Director:
“The breakaway was caught just before we turned left into the climb. We had three guys there, Nicolas Roche, Kilian Frankiny, and Brent Bookwalter. Everyone did the maximum, they gave everything they had on the climb and Nico was able to finish with fifth place. I think maybe he could have been third but he got boxed with 250 meters to go.”
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey
Stage 4 Marmaris > Selçuk (205.5km)
Top 3: 1. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team), 2. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 5. Nicolas Roche, 10. Kilian Frankiny, 11. Brent Bookwalter