Izmir, Turkey - The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team's Robert Förster (GER) fought hard to the finish in Stage 7 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey earlier today to take 6th place in the penultimate stage of the tour. Belgian Iljo Keisse of Omega-Pharma Quick Step was the stage winner, followed up by runner-up Marcel Kittel (GER) of Team Argos-Shimano and Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) of Lampre-ISD, who took third place in the race from Kusadasi to Izmir.
Stage 7 proved to be a good one for the US based Pro Continental outfit with the veteran sprinter Förster securing the Team's third top 10 finish of the Tour (van Poppel 5th in Stage 1, van Poppel 4th in Stage 4 , and Förster's 6th in Stage 7). In addition, Förster's Teammates Boy van Poppel (NED) and Jake Keough (USA) finished 13th and 20th today respectively, while the Team captured the Stage 7 team victory.
Speaking about Förster's finish today and the Team's stage victory, Team Director, Hendrik Redant, said, "We knew today would come down to a bunch sprint finish and agreed in the pre-race meeting that we would have a go for the victory with Robert. All of the boys worked hard to help Robert in the fight to keep his position in the front of the bunch during the last kilometers of the race. Despite unfortunately losing Karl (Menzies) during the last few kilometers due to a flat, the boys still fought hard. It was a good race for our boys and another good test in the adjustment of our Blue Train in view of the many races to come."
INJURY AND OTHER TEAM UPDATES
Jake Keough (USA) has recovered well from all of his injuries following a crash early in the Tour of Turkey and Jay Thomson is recovering from his illness suffered during the race. All of the riders on the Team who have been involved in crashes or hampered with illness throughout a very tough season to date, are doing well.
The Team heads to Istanbul for the final stage in the Tour of Turkey, tomorrow's (April 28) Stage 8.
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2012:
Boy van Poppel (NED)
Robert Förster (GER)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Jake Keough (USA)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Philip Deignan (IRE)
Jay Thomson (RSA)