Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 20, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Vos doubles wins at Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen; Gidich wins third stage of Tour of Qinghai Lake; Four talking points from the 2016 Giro Rosa; Anatomy of a bike throw: Sagan’s stage-winning lunge for the line; Battle with the broom wagon: Suffering to stay in the Tour; How the Week Was Won: 2016 Tour de France, Stages 10-16; Rohan Dennis leaving Tour de France; A mid-season chat: Joe Dombrowski talks beer, cars, and renewed contract with Cannondale-Drapac; Cummings replaces Kennaugh for Olympic road race; AG2R LA MONDIALE extends sponsorship through 2020; Turkish Olympian motivated to perform at Qinghai Lake following failed coup attempt in Ankara; Team Sky on Pinarello through 2020; List of Tour de France team budgets; Sagan at the Tour de France, by the numbers; Tour de France, stage 16 on-board highlights; OBE Backstage Pass, stage 16; Tour of Qinghai Lake, stage 2 highlights

Turkish Olympian motivated to perform at Qinghai Lake following failed coup attempt in Ankara

by Aaron S. Lee

Reigning Turkish three-time national time trial champion and recently named Rio Olympian Ahmet Örken (Torku-Sekerspor) was preparing for the Tour of Qinghai Lake in Xining, China when he learned of the failed military coup in the nation’s capital of Ankara on Friday evening – killing 161 people nationwide and injuring 1,440.

Photo: Adrian Hoe/Tour of Qinghai Lake

Photo: Adrian Hoe/Tour of Qinghai Lake

“I was very sad when I first learned of the news,” Örken told CyclingTips. “The first thing I did was reach out and see if everyone was okay back home.”

With more than 2,800 members of the Turkish military now detained and the scene back under control, the 2014 Qinghai Lake stage winner said he’s more motivated than ever to perform well. “Thankfully my friends and family are all OK,” he said. “They told me to not worry about the problems back home and do my job. Now, I want to win the race more than ever.”

The 2015 winner of both the Tour of Aegean (2.2) and the International Tour of Torku Mevlana (2.2) is not the only one focused on task at hand and making their country proud. “Our riders and our staff all have family back home and luckily they are all safe,” said the Turkey-registered UCI Continental team’s general manager Sadettin Kizil. “But we have a job to do as a professional cycling team and we are here to finish that job. When we start we will have our countrymen in our hearts, but our minds will be on winning bike races.”

Troubles in Turkey have compounded recently, with terrorism drastically affecting the Presidential Tour of Turkey (2.HC) bike race in April. Many WorldTour teams opted to race the Tour of Croatia (2.1) instead after a host of nations issued travel advisories due to heightened terrorist threats in the country.

Aaron S. Lee is a pro cycling and triathlon columnist for Eurosport and guest contributor for CyclingTips