With Enrico Gasparotto making his debut as Sports Director the team returned to Turkey with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
This time we had our two young Swiss cyclists, Jonathan Bögli (20) and Fabio Christen (19), along with Matvey Mamykin from Russia, Hijiri Oda from Japan, Szymon Tracz from Poland and newest member, Calvin Dik from Germany. Unfortunately French cyclist Jonathan Couanon suffered an injury on a training ride and was unable to join the team.
After a few days to acclimatise to the local conditions Stage 1 got underway and at the 60 kilometre mark Jonathan Bögli was in the breakaway, where he was to remain, finishing in a fighting 6th place!
It was a day for strategic positioning to protect the lead of Jonathan – the team kept to the peleton. Two riders finished Top 10 – Szymon 5th and Hijiri 10th! Better yet – Jonathan wins the White Jersey for Best Young Rider! Now we had something to really fight for and protect.
The scene was set for a tough Stage 3 in Konya. Calvin, who crashed on Stage 1, finally had to withdraw and Szymon was another victim of the gruelling, mountainous route. Now down to four riders … but with guts and determination we are rewarded by Jonathan’s 6th place and Fabio, just out of the Top 10, finishing 11th.
Jonathan started the final stage still in White but we were only four with a big day ahead. Hijiri as always worked hard for the team in the initial phase of the race, and Jonathan and Fabio kept their positions strongly. Matvey fought bravely to protect his team mates too. Although we had no one in the Top 10 over the line it had been a fantastic effort by all our riders.
At the final ceremony Jonathan Bögli could don the White Jersey once again as he was awarded 1st Place in the Youth Classification with Fabio finishing 3rd. In the General Classification Jonathan finished 4th and Fabio 15th! In the Team Classification we placed 6th.
What a Team! What a fantastic warm up to the Presidential Tour of Turkey starting 11/4/21!!!