The 53rd Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey begins today with the first stage kicking off in the Mediterranean district of Alanya. One of the 10 new World Tour events in the 2017 season, the race was originally scheduled for April 18 to April 23, but due to conflicts with other cycling events like the Ardennes Classics, La Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro d'Italia, it was rescheduled to Oct. 8 to Oct. 15.
Turkish Cycling Federation President Erol Küçükbakırcı told state broadcaster TRT: "We asked the UCI [International Cycling Union] to organize the 53rd Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Oct. 8 to 15 because the old calendar coincided with other tours and UCI saw it as appropriate, otherwise the teams would come reluctantly and the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey would have ended without us."
The route from Alanya to Kemer constitutes the first of the six-stage event, which will end in Istanbul on Oct. 15. Turkey's biggest cycling event, the tour is attended every year by the president, either at the starting or finishing point. Organized traditionally by the Turkish Cycling Federation, the first Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey was held in 1963 as the Marmara Tour. The tour earned international status for the first time in 1965.
The tour route will be as follows:
177km Alanya - Kemer
Wednesday, Oct. 11
206km Kumluca - Fethiye
Thursday, Oct. 12
129km Fethiye - Marmaris
Friday, Oct. 13
204km Marmaris - Selçuk
Saturday, Oct. 14
166km Selçuk - Izmir
Sunday, Oct. 15
144km Istanbul - Istanbul
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