Greetings from historic Turkey, Marty is on-site for the Tour of Turkey for the fourth year running. Certainly doesn't feel like a year since I was here last and had to get home by plane, train and automobile because of the volcanic ash!
Stage 1 in Istanbul was historic especially for cycling in general. By crossing the Bosphourus Bridge it became the first race to span 2 continents. Istanbul was always known as the centre of the World and its where Europe meets Asia. We started in Europe and finished in Asia....kinda cool huh!
It was a fairly standard stage with Greipel, Petacchi and Farrars teams controlling affairs on the front. Greipel didn't have it his own way and punctured not far fro the finish. In the sprint it was Italian pocket power house Andrea Guardini of Farnese Vini-Neri who took the straightest line through the slightly bending finishing straight to gap Tyler Farrar and take the 7th victory of his career....he's 21 and this is his first year as a pro.
Alessandro Petacchi was relegated to last place, penalised a minute and fined 200CHF for punching Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ on the back.
Todays stage into Turgetreis is like a ski jump at the finish, pretty much downhill! The roads leading in are pretty dodgy and some truck just dropped oil at the finish so lets hope and pray everyone gets in ok.
Andre Greipel won here last year so will be looking to do so again I'm sure.