Wippert’s result followed a strong ride from teammate Wes Sulzberger who spent 125km in the day-long, three-man breakaway.
Elia Viviani (Cannondale) won the sprint, while Adam Yates (Orica GreenEdge) remains the overall leader.
“It was an action-packed day for the boys and I couldn’t be happier,” said Directeur Sportif, Henk Vogels. “It was good for Wouter to learn to follow the big trains and it’s a big learning curve for him this week.”
It was the team’s second top-10 result this week in Turkey, following on from Adam Phelan’s ride on Stage 5.
“I’m happy,” said 22-year-old Wippert who finished 11th on Stage 1 and 2. “It was a hard week, a week of surviving and when you can race for a good sprint it’s always good to know that after seven stages.”
Sulzberger was one of the first riders to try their luck on the 136.3km stage, and was soon joined by Piotr Gawronski (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). The trio was never allowed much more than three minutes by the bunch before finally being reeled in with five kilometres remaining.
Unfortunately, Drapac’s Bernard Sulzberger and Floris Goesinnen were brought down by a crash at the 104km mark. Both riders escaped with grazing and will be fine to race Turkey’s final stage in Istanbul on Sunday.
The final 500 metres was marred by another crash however, a solo Wippert managed to stay upright, focused on making the most of the remnants of the sprint trains which had become disorganised.
“It was hectic,” he explained. “There was a few crashes and the last 500 metres I felt someone in my rear wheel crashing. I thought that I was going down as well but I stayed up and came 10th.
“There’s still one stage to go and it’s still my goal to get a podium so I’ll try to sprint a bit better tomorrow than today.”
The Presidential Tour of Turkey concludes on Sunday with a 121km stage in Istanbul.
Wouter Wippert talks about his ride at the finish. © Drapac Professional Cycling.