A silvery Thursday inaugurates the Tour of Antalya 2024. Silver is the color of the humid Anatolian sky today, and silver is the opening result for Team Polti Kometa. Exactly one week after finishing second in the 2nd stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Giovanni Lonardi is the runner-up in this sprint at Erdal İnönü park, by centimeters behind Timothy Dupont. After leaving the beautiful archaeological site of Side, the peloton had to work overtime: in addition to having to catch the usual breakaway 30 kilometers from the finish, only at -3km two other riders who had counterattacked shortly after were caught.
Ready to wear the yellow jersey of the points classification tomorrow in place of provisional overall leader Dupont, Lonardi comments on today’s race: “We arrived in the sprint as planned this morning. My teammates positioned me until the last kilometer, where I managed to stay on the wheels of the Bahrain and Alpecin trains and overtake them. On the other side of the road, Dupont came strong from behind and got the better of me, but tomorrow in the second stage (another expected conclusion for fast wheels, whose endurance will be however tested by a couple of climbs, en) I want to try again!”
If as an individual outcome, Polti Kometa is second, as a team performance, it is first in the appropriate ranking. Double satisfaction for sports director Giovanni Ellena: “The guys raced very well, at the front even when the group split a bit. We were hoping for a bit more… yellow day than silver, but considering that we are the best team, I would say that we have started this Tour of Antalya well.”