Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) pipped André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) at the line to win the final stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Sunday, but the real celebration was over at the Team Type 1 team bus.
Alexander Efimkin wrapped up the overall title in the biggest victory for the U.S.-registered team, which is now looking to carry that same momentum into the Amgen Tour of California later this month.
Van Hummel took the photo-finish win against Greipel as Van Hummel stabbed his bike across the line to claim the flowers. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) was third while Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) took fourth to leave the Turkey tour without a stage victory despite knocking on the door on several occasions.
“The team did a great job for me today doing the lead-out,” said Van Hummel, who was second Saturday. “I am very happy to get the win.”
In the overall, Efimkin counted on a bunch sprint finish to control any would-be attackers on the final day of racing in the eight-day event, which gained 2.HC status this year. The Russian finished safely in the bunch to secure overall victory at 1:13 ahead of Andrey Zeits (Astana), with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) rounding out the podium at 1:33 back. Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo) settled into fourth at 1:50 back.
Peterson grabbed the lead in the fifth stage, but couldn’t hold the pace in the hilly sixth stage when the attacks came fast and furious. Team Type 1 put three riders into a 25-rider breakaway and Astana and FDJ helped drive home the move, putting Efimkin into the leader’s jersey with Peterson tumbling to fourth.
“We’re a strong team and every day in Turkey we got stronger,” Efimkin said, thanking his teammates. “To have these gladiator monsters pulling for me and protecting the leader’s jersey has made me a very happy man, and I feel we have strong momentum for the next two months of racing.”
While Peterson was frustrated at the chance to claim the overall for Garmin-Cervélo, the victory was huge both for Efimkin and Team Type 1.
The U.S.-registered squad had been nipping at the edges of success all season long in its first season racing at Pro Continental status, with no less than 12 second and third places in three months of intense racing in Europe. Efimkin was second in stage 5 on the same day that Peterson overtook the leader’s jersey, but rebounded the following day to take the lead for good.
The victory is the most important stage-race success for the 29-year-old Efimkin, whose previous wins include the Settimana Lombarda and the Giro di Capo, both in 2007. Last year at Ag2r, Efimkin rode to 19th at Giro d’Italia before switching to Team Type 1 for the 2011 season. Next up is the Tour of California.
“A few weeks ago at Coppi e Bartali all of our bikes were stolen. Everything. We lost wheels, we lost tools, we lost time trial positions built in to the framesets,” said TT1 general manager Vassili Davidenko in a team release.
“But we took the right measures to build back up, and everybody on the team, riders, staff, management, all put in overtime to get back to where we were.
“Winning the Tour of Turkey this year is a great honor for us, and a great reflection of the program we have built.”
The race also saw the confirmation of Italian prospect Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini), who won two stages in the sprints. American Pat McCarty rode to a solid 15th place overall at 11:29 back for SpiderTech.
- 1. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned), Skil-Shimano, 3:22:59
- 2. André Greipel (Ger), Omega Pharma-Lotto, s.t.
- 3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita), Lampre-ISD, s.t.
- 4. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Cervélo, s.t.
- 5. Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Col), Colombia Es Pasion Coldeportes, s.t.
- 1. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), Team Type 1, 33:45:48
- 2. Andrey Zeits (Kaz), Astana, at 1:13
- 3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 1:33
- 4. Thomas Peterson (USA), Garmin-Cervélo, at 1:50
- 5. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Liquigas-Doimo, at 2:17