New Zealander Patrick Bevin was named the winner of the 57th Presidential Tour of Türkiye after the last stage in Istanbul was canceled due to inclement weather.
The organizers, teams and the athletes made a joint decision to cancel the 136-kilometer Stage 8 in Istanbul after rainy weather made road conditions unsafe.
As part of the decision, team Israel-Premier Tech’s rider Bevin, who took the overall lead after Saturday’s Gallipoli-Tekirdağ stage, was declared the champion.
“Despite a very small amount of rain today (Sunday), the conditions made the stage very difficult. It became very risky to complete the rout. The athletes and our teams, we agreed with the race commissioners and decided to cancel the stage. We are disappointed and saddened by the cancellation,” the 31-year-old said in a press conference after the trophy ceremony.
Bevin added that a combination of dust and rain made the roads very unsafe. “The race would not have been possible under these conditions. The ground is very slippery ground,” he said.
However, cyclists had the opportunity to tour Istanbul in a controlled manner.
“It was very enjoyable to come from New Zealand and tour such a beautiful city. We had a really nice tour but I wish it was a real race.” Bevin said.
Jay Tristan Vine of Alpecin-Fenix took second place, while Eduardo Sepulveda of the Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli team became third.
While champion Bevin clinched the turquoise jersey, Noah Granigan took the red, Jasper Philipsen won the green and Batuhan Özgür secured the white jersey.
The awards were presented to the athletes by Vice President Fuat Oktay, Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu and Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
Six WorldTour teams, up from three in the previous edition, along with 12 professional and seven continental teams, participated in the hunt for the title this year.
The Turkish Cycling Federation has been organizing the tour, earlier known as the Marmara Tour, since 1963.
It gained international status in 1965 and was brought under presidential authority in 1966.
The race was broadcast live on TRT Spor Yıldız. International broadcaster Eurosport telecast the event to millions of households across five continents.