Tom Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo) saw the leader’s jersey slip away in Friday’s sixth stage at the Tour of Turkey when a 25-man breakaway stayed clear to put Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1) into the lead with just two stages to go.
André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won out of the breakaway group that didn’t form until the second hour of racing in the hilly, 194km stage from Fethiye to Finike. Garmin-Cervélo clawed back to within one minute of the break near the finish, thanks to huge pulls from Ramunas Navardauskas, but the team was eventually outgunned by Team Type 1.
Efimkin had two Team Type 1 teammates in the break to help power home the group at 2:19 ahead of the main pack. Greipel made easy work in the sprint to claim the stage victory while Efimkin carries a 1:13 lead to Andrey Zeits (Astana) with two sprint-friendly stages to go. Peterson, who started the stage with a 27-second lead, dropped off the podium to fourth at 1:50 back.
“I wasn’t happy yesterday ending up third overall after being in the breakaway. Today I got what I wanted,” Efimkin told reporters at the line. “Laszlo Bodrigo and Rubens Bertogliati did a great job at the front of the breakaway today. I owe them a big thank-you. I think we will be able to keep the lead to the end.”
The jersey is huge news for Team Type 1, which is poised now to take its first major victory since expanding its racing program into Europe this season.
The stage was a disappointment for Peterson, who surged into the overall lead after riding into Thursday’s winning breakaway. Garmin-Cervélo missed putting a man into the breakaway and then didn’t find much help to try to bring it back.
The stage started hot and fast, with an endless string of attacks. Greipel worked into a 12-man break that finally went clear at 50km that also included Pat McCarty (SpiderTech). At 70km, FDJ went hard at the front of the main group on a steep climb, splintering the peloton and allowing Efimkin, Zeits and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) to bridge across.
Peterson missed the decisive move, putting all the pressure on Garmin-Cervélo to try to control a 25-rider group that included three Team Type 1 riders. Bodrogi and Bertaglioti used their TT prowess to hammer home the group and deliver the leader’s jersey.
Greipel could ride the coat-tails of Team Type 1, who also got help from FDJ and Astana in the breakaway, and saved his legs for the final sprint.
The win is Greipel’s third on the 2011 season and the first at Turkey, where he won five stages last year and finished eighth overall.
“It was different winning today out of a breakaway than when it was in a bunch sprint, but I am still a sprinter. Anyone from the team could have been in the break. All of jumped in the move, but it took 50km until the break went. I was the lucky one today,” Greipel said. “I realized I was in a good situation because Efimkin was riding for GC. I was able to wait for the sprint. I expected some attacks in the final 10km, but there was a head-wind and the pace was high. We have two more stages and I will try to be there for the sprints.”
The 47th Turkey tour continues Saturday with the 138km seventh stage from Tekirova to Manavgat. The route features some short, punchy climbs, but nothing that should slow down the sprinters.
- 1. André Greipel (GER), Omega Pharma-Lotto, 4:27:02
- 2. Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (ESP), Caja Rural, s.t.
- 3. Bartosz Huzarski (POL), Team Netapp, s.t.
- 4. Francis Mourey (FRA), Française des Jeux, s.t.
- 5. Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (DEN), SaxoBank-Sungard, s.t.
- 1. Alexander Efimkin (Russia), Team Type 1, 27:17:12
- 2. Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan), Astana, at 1:13
- 3. Thibaut Pinot (France), Française des Jeux, at 1:33
- 4. Thomas Peterson (United States), Garmin-Cervelo, at 1:50
- 5. Cameron Wurf (Australia), Liquigas-Doimo, at 2:17