Even in mid October, with the final weeks of racing in the 2018 season, our squad at the Tour of Turkey is focused and driven, and this showed today with Nathan Haas taking 3rd place in the stage 5 sprint finish, moving him up into 2nd overall on general classification.
"Coming into the final we had Maxim, Mads and my left hand man Reto with me: they were all incredible. I was a bit boxed in though coming into the final stretch and had to come from quite far back, but in the end I just went with my instinct and stayed calm- it was a bit uphill on the finish which suits me." Nathan explained as he finished his lunch and prepared for the 300 kilometre transfer.
The stage was far from quiet before the final, with an intermediate sprint and time bonus being up for grabs just 27 kilometres in. Team KATUSHA ALPECIN anticipated the heated start and worked together to control the peloton, setting up Haas to contest the intermediate sprint for the time bonus.
"The team did an amazing job keeping the race together for the first 30 kilometres, even our climbing guys got involved, which was really cool, we had the whole team just doing an awesome job. I took 2 seconds in the intermediate sprint, which solidified my 4th on GC.
Tomorrow's 150 kilometre stage finishes in Istanbul with an uphill sprint forecasted for the day, with only one category 3 climb in the first half of the parcours.
"Looking to tomorrow: the intermediate sprint isnt as much as an option as it comes quite late in the stage, but the final is more uphill than today, which does suit a rider of my style. We are so proud of how we have ridden as a team so far in this race and tomorrow if we can do it again, its just gravy. Most of us conclude our season with this race, so however tomorrow plays out, I think we are all just super happy to have worked so well together and end our 2018 season in this way."