Organized by the Turkish Cycling Federation, the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey debuted in 1963 and became an international race two years later. In the world’s only cycling tour to connect the continents, cyclists will also ride in Eurasia tunnel connecting Europe to Asia under the Bosphorus.
Nine “World Tour” teams will be among 20 teams, 140 cyclists, competing in the six-day event which started in Konya on October 9th and will end in Istanbul on October 14th.
- Stage 1: Konya – Konya / Oct. 9 // 149.7 km
- Stage 2: Alanya – Antalya / Oct. 10 // 154.1 km
- Stage 3: Fethiye – Marmaris / Oct. 11 // 137 km
- Stage 4: Marmaris – Selcuk / Oct. 12 // 206.7 km
- Stage 5: Selçuk – Manisa / Oct. 13 // 136.5 km
- Stage 6: Bursa – Istanbul / Oct. 14 // 166 km
Fethiye, 11 October 2018
Today’s Troy Stage 3 starts in the southern harbour town of Fethiye and travels 132.7km in land before finishing back on the coast, this time in the historic city of Marmaris.
Today’s race started at 13.15 local time and included the following:
- At km 33.3:
1 category 2 climb worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 pts in the Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition to the first 4 riders across the top.
- At km 65.2:
1 intermediate sprint worth 5, 3 and 1 pts towards the Salcano Green Jersey to the first 3 riders across, and also 3, 2, and 1 bonus seconds towards the SporToto Turquoise jersey.
- At km 101.8:
1 Beauties of Turkey sprint worth 5, 3, and 1 points towards the Turkey at Home White Jersey competition for the first three riders across the line.
- SporToto Turquoise jersey: overall race leader: 41 Sam Bennett (BORA – Hansgrohe)
- Turkish Airlines Red Jersey: mountain classification leader: 137 Beñat
- Txoperena (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias)
- Turkey Home White Jersey: Beauties of Turkey classification leader: 194 Onur
- Belkan (Turkish National Team)
- Salcano Green Jersey: points classification leader: 41 Sam Bennett (BORA – Hansgrohe)
Today’s cultural and historical landmarks – some key points on and around today’s route
Fethiye, a popular resorts set on a wide bay strewn with islands. The ancient name of the city is Telmessos: the fortress overlooking the city was built by the Knights of Rhodes. Fethiye is known for elaborate rock tombs carved into the cliffs by the Lycians. The tomb of Amnytas, dating to the 4th century BC, is in the Doric architectural style.
The Beach and the Sovalye Island are real the destinations for those who like to enjoy the most beautiful sea. Belcegiz Bay forms the dreamlike Belcegiz – Ölüdeniz, with 3kms of natural beach and crystal blue waters. At Koturumsu, waterfalls flow beneath thousands of butterflies which flutter through the pine forest that flanks the beach. Paragliding from Baba mountain became one of the most popular sports and it gives magnificent views for people flying over this great beach lagoon.
Around Fethiye, there are important ancient cities of the Lycians. To the southeast of Fethiye lies Xanthos at Kinik village, an important capital of Lycians. Its setting is naturally adorned while Letoon, by Kumluova village and close to Xanthos, is also interesting. Letoon was a cult center during the Lycian period and remains can be seen of temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo. Patara by Ovagelmis, Pinara by Minare, Tlos by Doger, Cadianda by Yesil Üzümlü, Sidyma by Dodurga, Karmilassos by Kaya, Pydnai by Kavadere, Araxa by Ören, Lydoe by Kapidag, Lissa and Arsada by Kayadibi, and Daedela by Inlice are other significant sites to visit in the environs of Fethiye. There are also many camping and picnicking facilities around Fethiye.
132km to go – Kayakoy, was once home to 10 thousand citizens. Pine, pomegranate and fig trees create an impressive backdrop. As you contemplate the gothic architecture of the Rock Tombs or King’s Tombs, one of the first impressive sights of Fethiye, you can be inspired by the mystical thoughts.
Gemiler Island, the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas. Archaeologists believe he was interred in the rock-hewn church after his death in 326. His relics remained there until the 650s, when the island was abandoned as it was threatened by an Arab fleet. They were then moved to Myra, 25 miles (40 km) to the east. Because of the many wars and attacks in the region, some Christians were concerned that access to the tomb might become difficult. The Italian cities of Venice and Bari vied to get the Nicholas relics. In the spring of 1087, sailors from Bari in Apulia seized part of the remains of the saint from his burial church in Myra, over the objections of the Greek Orthodox monks. Returning to Bari, they brought the remains with them and cared for them. The remains arrived on 9 May 1087 and remain at Bari.
53.3km – 79.4km to go – Dalyan is situated out on the main road left out of Ortaca, where today’s route goes through. Dalyan achieved international fame in 1987 when developers wanted to build a luxury hotel on the nearby İztuzu Beach, a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The incident created a major international storm when David Bellamy championed the cause of conservationists, such as June Haimoff, Peter Günther, Nergis Yazgan, Lily Venizelos and Keith Corbett. The development project was temporarily stopped after Prince Philip called for a moratorium and in 1988 the beach and its hinterland were declared a protected area, viz. Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area.
70km – 62.7km to go – Lake Köyceğiz, one of Turkey’s largest coastal lakes. fed by the Namnam and Yuvarlakçay rivers and a number of mountain brooks. The water of brooks, melting water and fresh water wells, mixes with warm sulfurous water that is released from a fault and mildly brackish, oxygenated water that flows upriver with the rising tide. The depth of the lake varies from 20 to 60 metres. The lake is abundant with fish.
132.7km (Finish) – Marmaris Castle, Herodotus, born in c. 484 BC at Halicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum, where André Greipel won stages in 2010 and 2013), described by Cicero as “The Father of History,” writes that the first city walls in Marmaris were constructed in 3,000 B.C.
And finally, Marmaris. It is not known when Marmaris was founded, but Physkos, as the settlement was previously known, was part of the Carian Empire in the 6th century B.C. when overrun by the Lydians. Another Lydian invasion in 334 B.C. led to the division of the Roman Empire by Alexander the Great.
According to Herodotus, the Carians, after coming from Crete took over the town of Physkos with its large natural harbour, and used it as a military base for their campaigns against the Phoenicians in Rhodes and other Aegean islands. The Carian civilization entered a dark period after 300 B.C., coming under the rule of the Egyptians, Asstrians, Ionians and Dorians successively. The Dorians turned the Carian province into 9 colony cities, also including Halicarnassos and Knidos, which became an active trading centre for Anatolia and led to an increase in handicrafts and maritime trade. In 138 B.C. Attalos the 3rd, King of Bergama, whose predecessors had ruled Caria for 90 years, conceded Physkos to Rome and the city was ruled from Rhodes by Roman generals. The city became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1425. The castle was built in 1521 AD for use in a planned assault on Rhodes. The Ottoman Sultan at the time, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, changed the name of the town to Mimaras, which then became Marmaris.
A local rumour has it that the reason for the change of name Mimaras was that Sultan Suleyman, on returning from his expedition to Rhodes, disliked the castle and exclaimed “mimar as!”, which means “hang the architect!” Unfortunately there is no evidence to support this amusing story.
54th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, 9-14 October 2018 Sponsorship:
Stage 1 (sponsored by Turkish Airlines) – Konya › Konya
Stage 2 (SporToto) – Alanya › Antalya
Stage 3 (Troy) – Fethiye › Marmaris
Stage 4 (SporToto) – Marmaris › Selçuk
Stage 5 (Vestel) – Selçuk › Manisa
Stage 6 (Salcano) – Bursa › Istanbul
Courtesy of the Presidential Tour of Turkey Press Office