Stage 8 of the 50th edition of the 2.HC race saw Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) take his fourth win of the week while Orica GreenEdge secured the overall through Adam Yates. Sprinter, Wouter Wippert was Drapac’s best on Sunday while Adam Phelan moved into the top 20 on GC, finishing in 19th place, 5:47 off Yates’ blue jersey. Phelan was the second-best Australian, with Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) ninth overall.
It was a solid result for the team which targeted stages this week, rather than the overall.
“The week’s been great for the guys,” said Directeur Sportif, Henk Vogels. “They’ve been aggressive; it’s been a big learning curve for Wouter here – we know he’s got the stuff to compete, he just needs somewhat of a little bit more structured lead out which we didn’t focus on this week. The guys were just a little bit short on the climbs but certainly really competitive so, I’m happy with the outcome of the week.”
The team comes away from Turkey with two top-10 stage finishes this week, with Phelan 10th on Stage 5 and Wippert in the same placing on Stage 7 after two close calls earlier in the week. Lachlan Norris, Wes Sulzberger and Phelan all featured in breakaways, ensuring Drapac kept up their presence throughout the event.
“The highlights I would have to say were Wouter really holding his own in the sprint yesterday where he was 10th and also how the boys rode aggressively all week,” said Vogels. “The second mountain-top finish I think with five guys in the top 35 in an extremely tough finish – I was proud of how they did that.”
The squad also cemented 10th place in the team classification.
The Presidential Tour of Turkey was the first of a substantial block of international racing for Drapac with a squad next competing at the Tour d’Azerbaïdjan before moving on to Japan, the United States, Korea and then Iran. It’s something that Vogels believes will benefit the team immensely.
“They’re just going to get better,” Vogels concluded.
Listen to a full interview with Henk Vogels on Drapac Professional Cycling’s Soundcloud account.
Final General Classification, Presidential Tour of Turkey – Drapac Professional Cycling:
19 Adam Phelan (Aus) +0:05:47
28 Lachlan Norris (Aus) +0:09:46
31 Wes Sulzberger (Aus) +0:10:48
41 Jai Crawford (Aus) +0:16:09
65 Robbie Hucker (Aus) +0:28:45
95 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) +0:40:40
118 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) +0:49:08
131 Wouter Wippert (Ned) +0:57:47.
Henk Vogels hands out a bottle from the Drapac team car in Turkey. © Drapac Professional Cycling