Sam Welsford took his first professional victory and gave Team DSM its first victory of the 2022 season on stage 5 of the Tour of Turkey in Ayvalik.
The 26-year-old Australian switched from track to road racing after the Tokyo Olympics and used his track speed to pass Jasper Philipsen as he sat in the saddle in the final 100 metres.
The two had passed Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) who had started his sprint early along the barriers. When Ewan was passed he let up, while behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost his chain and pedal and was also unable to sprint.
A crash in the final mile saw several runners fall. However, the winner of stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey, Eduardo Sepúlveda (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), kept the turquoise leader’s jersey.
Welsford had shown their spring form by finishing third at Scheldeprijs and fourth at the Bredene Koksijde Classic.
“It’s my first professional win in my first season in the professional peloton and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” Welsford said.
“The DSM team was really hungry for victory and we took it step by step. Today’s win came, so really happy for the team and for myself.
“I knew it was pretty tight going into the last 150m. I was actually pretty far behind so I followed Philipsen through a gap and he opened up in the middle after a lot of guys had gone pretty early. I just saw the line, looked down and couldn’t believe when I crossed the line first.
The stage saw Feritcan Samli (Spor Toto) and Michiel Stockman (Saris Rouvy) spend a lot of time in front, with Israel-Premier Tech’s Pat Bevin taking a one-second bonus in an intermediate sprint at nearly 13 seconds on Sepúlveda.
Israel-Premier Tech, Alpecin-Fenix and Human Powered Health then split the peloton in the crosswind but the peloton came back together with 50km to go. Another attack was cleared, with Maurice Ballerstedt (Alpecin-Fenix) the last survivor before the sprint team took over and prepared for the sprint.
BikeExchange-Jayco, Israel PremierTech and Bora-Hansgrohe were all up front but Welsford took the glory to end Team DSM’s lack of success.
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