By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze won the first stage of the 54th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in the central province of Konya on Tuesday.
Richeze, who rides for the Quick-Step Floors team, won the 148.4-kilometer race which started and ended in Konya.
In the first stage, Ireland's Sam Bennett, who rides for the Bora-Hansgrohe team, came in second, while Jean-Pierre "Jempy" Drucker, a Luxembourg cyclist riding for the BMC Racing Team, came third.
After its promotion to World Tour category, the Tour of Turkey is expected to reach a large audience through broadcasts in more than 120 countries.
This year's edition sees 20 teams from across the world, including the Turkish national team, race in the 950-km, six-stage tour.
Organized by the Turkish Cycling Federation, the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey debuted in 1963 and became an international race two years later.
In the world's only cycling tour to connect the continents, cyclists will also ride in the Eurasia tunnel connecting Europe to Asia beneath the Bosphorus Strait.
Nine "World Tour" teams are among 20 teams with 140 cyclists racing in the Tour of Turkey.
This year, the six-day tour started in Konya on Oct. 9 and will end in Istanbul on Oct. 14.
Stage 1: Konya – Konya / Oct. 9 // 149.7 km
Stage 2: Alanya – Antalya / Oct. 10 // 154.1 km
Stage 3: Fethiye – Marmaris / Oct. 11 // 137 km
Stage 4: Marmaris – Selcuk / Oct. 12 // 206.7 km
Stage 5: Selcuk – Manisa / Oct. 13 // 136.5 km
Stage 6 Bursa – Istanbul / Oct. 14 // 166 km
Turkish National Team
Astana Pro Team
Bahrain – Merida
Bmc Racing Team
Bora – Hansgrohe
Burgos – BH
Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
CCC Sprandi Polkowice
Delko Marseille Provence KTM
Euskadi Basque Country – Murias
Gazprom – Rusvelo
Manzana Postobon Team
Quick – Step Floors
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Team Katusha Alpecin
Trek – Segafredo
UAE Team Emirates
WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia