Race report

Sam Welsford surges to victory for Team DSM in Turkey sprint finish

Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye

After coming close in the opening stages, Team DSM showed great resilience and teamwork at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye, setting up Sam Welsford for the finale where he showed his pedigree with a brilliant surge to the line; taking Team DSM’s Men’s program first win of the season.

It was an attacking start to the fifth stage of racing at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye as the riders rolled out from Manisa, taking over 40 kilometres for a breakaway to form; with two riders eventually going clear together. With all Team DSM riders in the bunch, focus remained on conserving energy and staying safe as they took on the 186 kilometre route to Ayvalık.

Despite the breakaway duo building up a lead of almost six minutes, the peloton were always in control and slowly reeled them in throughout the day. After a fight for bonus seconds, the catch was made at 40 kilometres to go where a new move formed out front. Despite their best efforts in the break, the riders were battling into a headwind, always giving the peloton the upper-hand. Heading into the final ten kilometres the counter-attack was all but caught and the team moved forward en masse well, looking to protect finisher for the day Sam Weslford.

Peeling off one-by-one, the team did a good job to hold their position but as the finish line grew closer the winding roads made things more hectic as everyone jostled to be at the front. Unfortunately, a large crash disrupted the lead-outs of many and the team hopes everyone involved in it is okay. As a result of the crash, it meant Cees Bol and Welsford were a bit behind Alberto Dainese but after finding a gap, Bol brought up Welsford onto Dainese’s wheel who gave his final bit of effort to keep Welsford up there.

Surfing the wheels through the final few hundred metres, the Aussie used all of his track experience and nous to navigate the chaos before producing a powerful sprint, surging to the line to take his first professional win for the team. With Bol following across the line in eighth for a double top-ten, the joy was clear for everyone as the team all celebrated together at the finish – a great reward for all of their hard work and belief.

An elated Welsford smiled: “I’m over the moon. It’s my first pro victory and my first year in the pro peloton and I’ve been really enjoying it so far. With my team, Team DSM, we’ve been really hungry and we’ve improved step-by-step and that win has been coming, so I’m really happy for the team and myself. We came here with three fast guys, with Alberto, Cees and myself. We’ve been able to mix it up and really work well together as a really fast lead out team and dial in the process of leading out successfully, which we’ve done over the last couple of days I think. Today it worked out really well. We really nailed in our process and the win is a result of hard work that we’ve been putting in this season and the last couple of days. I saw the line and put my head down and couldn’t believe it when I crossed the line first.”

Team DSM coach Marcel Sieberg continued: “We said that at the beginning of the race that we would change the order of our finishers here and today was Sam’s turn to be our finisher. I’m really proud of how the guys rode. We made a good plan and the guys did well throughout the stage and in the final ten kilometres. We were also lucky not to be involved in the crash and we hope everyone who went down is ok. Sam used his track skills really well to fight his way to the front and could finish it off really well. Jonas didn’t start for us yesterday and today he sent a message to the guys saying that he believed we could at least get a podium, so from that you can really see the spirit in the group is on a good level. We’ve been pretty close each stage so far, have worked well together, so this win only gives us more confidence going ahead into the next days and races.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 WELSFORD Sam Team DSM 4:13:49 20
2 PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Fenix ,, 10
3 DE KLEIJN Arvid Human Powered Health ,, 5
8 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
24 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
98 VANDENABEELE Henri Team DSM ,, -
132 MÄRKL Niklas Team DSM 2:13 -
133 BITTNER Pavel Team DSM ,, -