Sports director Bart Leysen previews the Tour of Turkey


The Tour of Turkey will be covered from Tuesday 16 April until Sunday 21 April. The 55th edition of this WorldTour stage race offers a varied course, as both sprint stages and summit finishes are included. Sports director Bart Leysen talks about the race and the ambitions of Lotto Soudal.

Bart Leysen, sports director at Lotto Soudal: “This is an ideal race for our riders in the run-up to the Giro. A couple of guys, such as Caleb Ewan and Roger Kluge, have not – or only partly – participated in the Flemish Classics. After Milan-San Remo, Ewan had planned a resting period. In Turkey, he is able to go for victory in every stage, except for the very hard summit finish on the penultimate day. However, a finish on a short steep climb is within his capabilities, as he has proven in the UAE Tour. Besides, the stages are usually not very long, so this race functions perfectly as a preparation towards the Giro. Ewan targets the sprint stages there as well. "

“Jasper De Buyst will make his comeback in Turkey. He recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained during his crash in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. In the run-up to the sprints, Kluge and De Buyst will normally be the penultimate and the last rider, respectively. However, we certainly do not want to overload him after his injury, so those positions could possibly still switch. With Rasmus Byriel Iversen and Enzo Wouters, we have two young riders in a supporting role. Carl Fredrik Hagen and Harm Vanhoucke can handle the uphill parts really well. Although the Tour of Turkey is a WorldTour race, the field of participants is a little less stronger than in other major stage races. So I expect that they can achieve great performances, especially in that all-determining stage on Saturday."

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Jasper De Buyst, Caleb Ewan, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Rasmus Byriel Iversen, Roger Kluge, Harm Vanhoucke and Enzo Wouters.

Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Kurt Van de Wouwer.