The 5th Veloturk Gran Fondo was held 7 November in the Turkish town of Cesme with over 1500 amateur and professional cyclists participating from 21 countries, including former Tour de France rider Jérôme Coppel.
In a 3-man sprint Kaan Soylu Özkalbim (BISAN) won the 110 kilometre race with a time of 3:01:44, nipping Gökhan Uzuntas (ORVELO) at the finish line, while Jérôme Coppel (COPPELL CYCLING CLUB) was third.
The former French professional cyclist, who raced on the ProTour from 2008 – 2016 and finished 14th overall in the 2011 Tour de France, was visiting Cesme on holiday and commented afterwards, “[I] decided to compete in Veloturk Gran Fondo Çeşme three weeks ago. My wife is a Turkish. I wasn’t very fit, but I’m still happy to be here.”
Adding, “The race course was really tough. There were almost no straights, constant ups and downs… It was a totally crazy race. It was like a gran fondo race held in France or Italy. The organization was pretty good, plus the race course was flawless. So I really enjoyed it. I hope to be here next year as well.”
In Women’s race, Özge Uzun (341 TRIATHLON) outsprinted her breakaway companions to win in 3:17:26, with Merve Guney (SASFIT) second and İpek Öztosun third.
Ozan Yavuz (FERDI) won the 63 kilometre medio fondo, which ended in a large field sprint, with a time of 1:45:46 and an ecstatic two-arms up victory celebration. Ekin Ereke was the fastest women, crossing under the finish banner in 1:56:22.
Complete Veloturk Gran Fondo results HERE.
PHOTOS: Veloturk Gran Fondo