Our attention will turn to the Far East now, for the last race of the season.
Istanbul welcomed the peloton on the final day of the Tour of Turkey, with the same explosive finish as in the past years, which included narrow roads, cobblestones and an uphill drag, all crammed in the final two kilometers, where the race split to pieces just minutes after the breakaway had been caught by the bunch led by the same incredible Tim Declercq.
Before arriving in the Sultanahmet Square, the race wrote history by taking the peloton 100 meters below sea level through the 5.4km-long Eurasian Tunnel which was opened in 2016, linking Anatolia to the European part of Turkey. The nervousness in the pack was palpable in the final and led to several riders crashing and disrupting the peloton, who was chasing Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), who eventually soloed to victory.
Zdenek Stybar had an attempt to shut down this move, but was immediately countered by the single-file bunch and in the end concludes in tenth position. In the general classification, won by Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) on countback, neo-pro James Knox was our highest-ranked rider, finishing the 54th edition of the event in 20th place, a result that bodes well for next season, feeding the 22-year-old's confidence.
The Tour of Turkey was the 11th World Tour stage race of the season in which Quick-Step Floors took to the podium to claim the honors, courtesy of Maximiliano Richeze and Alvaro Hodeg, who notched up stage victories in Konya, on the opening day, and in Manisa. This strong week resulted in our squad increasing the advantage in the World Tour team classification to over 3 000 points, ahead of the second edition of the Tour of Guangxi, where Quick-Step Floors will make its final outing of the year before a well-deserved rest.
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