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Stage 4 of the 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in Fethiye

Stage 4 of the 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in Fethiye

“Get on your bike” suggests President Erdogan as he helped promote the 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (TUR) last week.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cycled his way from Maidens Tower to Harem Bus Station on his custom made bike last week to not only help publicise the national event, but also to promote the sport that he believes is very important for his public’s health. “I hope that we will rapidly improve the infrastructure for bicycle riders and enhance the love for cycling” Erdogan said according to the Daily Sabah on April 18th.

The TUR started in Antalya last Sunday, with stage 4 leaving Fethiye towards Marmaris yesterday on its long course ending in Istanbul on May 3rd. The President is a firm supporter of the race and of the sport saying in his press conference,

Unlike many other countries in the world, especially Western countries, we cannot say that we have good infrastructure for bicycle riders. However, some of our provinces, particularly Konya, have taken good steps towards establishing such infrastructure in recent times. I hope that we will rapidly improve the infrastructure for bicycle riders in other provinces such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, and enhance the love for cycling… Cycling is very important for our health. I congratulate the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National Education and our government for this. I wish all international racers success.”

Those with a property in Fethiye will know, the town has seen great improvements over recent years including a lovely bike lane stretching along the new sea front promenade all the way towards Calis. “Fethiye is a beautiful place to live or holiday” says Suleyman Akbay from Oceanwide Properties. “It’s a shame the President didn’t mention Fethiye on his list of bike friendly places like Konya. Many cycling events either pass through or take part in Fethiye, this annual event almost marks the beginning of season. The central streets and promenade outside the office are all closed off, the cars replaced by early season tourists and spectators cheering the riders on as they pass. Fethiye is a perfect location for cycling and it’s a great and healthy pastime for those that live in the area”.

Fethiye news cyclists leave fethiye

Cyclists leave Fethiye for Marmaris

The event does create a lot of international interest with many foreigners now taking part. Tom Boonen returning after injury and Mark Cavendish, who won stage one, two, four and eight of the TUR last year and has totted up six wins already this year (including two stage wins and an overall classification at the Dubai Tour). Other internationals include Begian Jelle Wallays, Germany’s Andre Greipel, Italians Sonny Colbrelli, Sacha Modolo and Davide Appollonio and Edwin Avila, the former world points champion.

The photos shown were taken from the Oceanwide Properties office yesterday. We want to wish all the riders good luck on their journey to Istanbul and look forward to seeing them again next year.

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