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Presidential Tour of Turkey 2017 odds

Who wins Presidential Tour of Turkey 2017?

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The 2017 Presidential Tour of Turkey is a road cycling stage race that is scheduled to take place in Turkey between 10 October and 15 October 2017. It will be the 53rd edition of the Presidential Tour of Turkey and will be part of the 2017 UCI World Tour. It will be the first time that the race is included in the UCI World Tour calendar. Organized traditionally by Turkish Cycling Federation, Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey started in 1963 as “Marmara Tour,” it gained an international status for the first time in 1965 and included within the sponsorship of Presidential Office in 1966. In its 53rd year, the tour will be organized under 8 stages.

The exact details of this eight-stage route changes each time, but it largely runs along the south-western coast and finishes in Alanya.

The organisers struggled to attract teams due to recent terrorist attacks, a failed military coup and oppressive action by Turkish President Recep Erdogan. A report in February said only one team had accepted an invitation to the race. With war in Syria and recent terrorist attacks, plus the widespread 2013 protests and failed 2016 coup, teams appear reluctant to travel to Turkey.

The Tour of Turkey’s spot among the 11 new WorldTour races surprised followers when the UCI announced the new expanded calendar in August 2016.

Thousands of dissidents, journalists and critics of Erdogan have been arrested in recent months, sparking concerns about safety and civil rights in Turkey. The country is due to vote in a referendum on April 8 that would give Erdogan sweeping powers. The Tour of Turkey was originally scheduled for April 18-23.

An initial request to move the race was turned down in January, but following a meeting of the UCI Professional Cycling Council (PCC) on 21 March in Brussels, the UCI agreed that the Tour of Turkey will be postponed to October 10-15 2017.

The UCI claimed the race has the continued support of the Turkish Government and the race organisation to ensure the success of the event. Under UCI rules, participation of WorldTour teams is mandatory in the calendar's events, but these rules were modified this year to make racing in the new events voluntary. However, new races must maintain a minimum of 10 WorldTour teams or risk being tossed off the calendar.

The UCI specified that the date change is only for the 2017 season, revealing that the 2018 UCI WorldTour calendar will be confirmed in June at the next PCC meeting. The October date will mean the Tour of Turkey comes after Il Lombardia on Saturday, October 7, and before the new Gree-Tour of Guangxi that will take place in China between October 19-24, which brings down the curtain on the long WorldTour calendar.

Lotto Soudal – who last year were one of only two WorldTour squads at the race along with Lampre-Merida – won't complete this year. Manager Marc Sergeant admitted that "There were no incidents last year, and there was a lot of attention to safety," he said to Het Nieuwsblad. "Every hundred metres you saw an agent. But since then much has happened: new attacks, a coup attempt. I read that since then 10,000 people were arrested. To have all these reasons, we decided not to go this year."