Irish cyclist Sam Bennett of UCI WorldTeam Bora–Hansgrohe on Tuesday won first stage of the 55th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

The race began in Istanbul on Tuesday and will end in the same city on April 21.

The first 160-kilometer stage began in Sultanahmet Square, which is surrounded by iconic Istanbul landmarks like Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Cyclists then headed to Tekirdag, west of Istanbul.

Bennett, 28, won seven stages in the past two races.

The event is the world’s only intercontinental cycling race, as cyclists will cross into Asia from Europe and vice versa in the first and last stages of the international race.

Some 119 cyclists from around the world are competing in the event that originally started in 1963 as the Tour of Marmara, named after the northwestern region where Istanbul is located.

The race usually picked Istanbul for the starting point in past years, but it was largely a Mediterranean and Aegean affair as cyclists competed on scenic routes encompassing Izmir and Antalya in the south.

 

Source:  Daily Sabah

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