One of the challenges of being a cycling fan is trying to interpret what’s happening on the road, as seen on our screens. Television commentators will helpfully give us their version of events and we may be assisted by snippets of pre-race interviews with riders and directeur sportifs. We may have read some race previews in the press or on the internet to help our comprehension or add to our confusion. More data doesn’t necessarily equal more information, as everyone weighs in with their penny’s worth. VeloVoices are fortunate to gain some additional insight thanks to updates from Geoffroy Lequatre (Bretagne-Schuller) at this week’s International Presidential Tour of Turkey.
All the teams will have a race strategy but it’s often the tactics on the road on the day which prove decisive, along with the form of the individual riders. Teams will, of course, have different aspirations based on the abilities of their riders. Some will be happy to animate the race and grab precious air-time for themselves and the team’s sponsors – not forgetting that breakaways do sometimes win. Others will be playing the long game and hoping for a high overall placing while some will be content with the points from a stage win or top-five on a stage.
This week’s Tour of Turkey has its sights set on becoming part of the WorldTour. It’s seen as a sprint-fest and ideal pre-Giro, pre-Tour racing for those with ambitions of winning stages and jerseys in those Grand Tours. However the organisers realise that in order to realise their ambitions they need to mix it up a bit, hence the introduction this year of a summit finish queen stage.
Geoffroy is taking part in the Tour for the first time and is enjoying the fine weather, the warm hospitality, the enthusiasm of the fans and the excellent organisation. Here he shares with us some of his thoughts:
The first two stages were really flat and ideal for the sprinters and it was quite impressive seeing around 200 riders at the start and finish of each stage.
Geoffroy was held up, but fortunately not caught up, in Sunday’s mass crash before the line and finished on the same time as the winner. On stage two, he was in the second group, just six seconds down, leaving him and his teammates handily placed for the queen stage.
On yesterday’s queen stage, the Bretagne-Schuller team had three cards to play: Romain Hardy, Florian Guillou and Geoffroy. However, they elected to play a bit of a waiting game as they were unfamiliar with both the climb and the stage, plus they were unsure as to whether or not it would favour a breakaway.
After the stage, where he finished 22nd, over four minutes down on the winner, Geoffroy expressed his disappointment:
Today was the queen stage of the Tour of Turkey. I thought I would do better than that. Today I did not feel good; it’s a shame because a top-ten place was achievable. Since the beginning of the year, I had not known a day like that, without sensations. But it’s not over. There are further stages and I hope to enjoy them!
Florian Guillou finished seventh yesterday (+2:19) and now lies seventh on GC while the team is third overall. So there’s plenty to play for in the coming days and we’ll have more from Geoffroy.
Don’t forget to check out G4 Dimension, Geoffroy’s stylish, high-tech range of cycling and casual wear. We might not be able to ride as fast as him but we can, at least, look as stylish in his new summer collection HIS and HER. Yes, that’s right, Geoffroy’s now added a range of ladies’ cycling gear.
The Tour of Turkey started on Sunday 22nd and concludes on Sunday 29th. Live action and highlights are being shown daily on Eurosport. For other channels check cyclingfans.com.