Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival, Urgup MTB Cup – Bilal Akgul won the Victory

06/06/2011  //     //  Dağ Bisikleti DH ve FR

Capadocia MTB races, this year under the name of Salcano Capadocia Bike Festival, started for the 11th time with its first step Urgup MTB Cup on Sunday, 5th of June 2011. Capadocia MTB races have always been very special for lots of national and international riders. As suitable with a quote from Bora Tirki (Ankaragucu) in 2009 “Capadocia is the Kabaa of every MTB rider ”, the race was held with great success with the support of the leading sponsorship of Argeus Tourism & Travel and other local sponsors, among the gorgeous beauties of Urgup with the attendance of 150 athletes, including 5 international riders.


As announced at the technical meeting a day before, the Elite Men, Elite Women and Juniors races started at 10:00 in the morning, 1 minute after each other. Turkish National Champion Bilal Akgul, who’s currently an inhabitant of Urgup, got the victory of Elite Men this year as well and as expected, with great confidence. Our Turkish National Champion Esra Kurkcu finished the Elite Women category as the first, while the Juniors category was dominated by Yusuf Cabik (Ankaragucu), who had the second place of last year. The Masters 30+ was won by Turgay Germen (Ankaragucu) and the Masters 40+ victory was gained by the athlete of Hacettepe University, Ali Yilmaz.

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During the races in the morning, the weather was cooler compared with the afternoon, which was a comfort for the morning racers. After the start, the three dominators of Elite Men were Brisaspor’s riders, Bilal Akgul, Abdulkadir Kelleci and Ihsak Unal. While the audience cheered for the same portrait on the second stage, because of the unfortunate fall of Abdulkadir Kelleci during the 3rd stage, the dominator group was decreased to two and remained the same after that. Even if Bilal Akgul and Isak Unal, whom presented a pretty untroubled performance, turned back because of Kelleci’s accident but after they understood that he couldn’t keep racing because of the injury on his shoulder, they returned to the race. Kelleci was brought to the hospital during the race with the ambulance waiting near the course and diagnosed with a fracture of the collar bone but we were relieved by the news that it wasn’t a serious injury and he could get back on track after a short rest. Other favorites of this race, Halil Korkmaz (Ankaragucu) and Hamza Kansiz (Rize Gençlik Spor) came right after the Brisaspor riders, with the riders from Serbia and didn’t give up on the challenge. However, the injury of Halil Korkmaz from an accident he had a day before, seemed to affect his performance on the following laps. At the beginning of the 3rd lap, Hamza Kansiz rushed to the technical area after his tire burst. Even if he replaced it with his spare rim and kept on racing, he couldn’t keep up with others.

Even if he rode at road biking races at the first two days of the 1st International Cycling Tour of Isparta, Bilal Akgul, whom seemed pretty comfortable during the race, gained victory with his timing of 01:33:08. Last year’s Juniors Champion, Ishak Unal performed as expected and got the second place with 01:35:07. With the help of the unfortunate incident of Abdulkadir Kelleci, Serbian National Champion Bojan Djurdic finished as the third with 01:35:27 Click the photo to view larger

The Elite Women challenge was between Turkish National Champion Esra Kurkcu who dominated the race from the beginning, former Turkish National Champion Semra Yetis and National Champion of Serbia Jovana Crnogorac, one of the international racers, who was born in 1992. During the 2nd lap, Semra’s tire burst and caused a gap with the other two and she lost the chance of the struggle for victory. The 2nd lap was also unfortunate for Pelin Bayram. Going down the stairs she fell down pretty bad and had to opt out of the race. We hope our very best that she’ll get well soon. Our National Champion Esra Kurkcu with her timing of 01:38:08 passed the finish line first and got the victory of the Elite Women. Semra Yetis with the time she lost because of the flat tire and the repair, performed her best at the 3rd and the 4th laps and got the second with 01:39:04. Jovana Crnogorac got to the finish line 3m 44s after Esra and got the 3rd place.

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Junior Men struggle was between Yusuf Cabik, Agit Salman and Omer Faruk Kansiz, as expected. As from the 2nd lap, Yusuf Cabik performed better and dominated at the technical climbings according to Agit Salman (Brisaspor). As compared with the Ankara race, Agit Salman’s performance was better and this improvement we observed, gave a hint of serious challenges are ahead of us at the following races.


The biggest favorite of the Masters category Turgay Germen (Ankaragucu) came along a ride of 12 hours and without a rest he attended the race and completed the track of 3 laps with a great velocity and a timing of 01:01:45. Again being one of our most ambitious mtb riders Muammer Yildiz, who races in 30+, we foresee a great challenge between him and Germen and recommend you all not to miss it if you encounter such a race. Another of the successful Masters racers Oguz Ozcelik (Rize Genclik Spor Kulubu) finished the second with 01:02:10 because of the technical problems he faced and Turgay Germen’s incredible performance and Bora Tirki (Ankaragucu) got the third place with his timing of 01:05:22.

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This year’s winner of Ankara race, Abdulsamet Kiv again got the Cadet’s victory with his timing of 01:05:04 for 3 laps. Ilhan Erdinc Turkyilmaz (Istanbulspor Genclik Spor Kulubu), who got the second place this year at Adampol MTB Cup, got the second place on this race as well with 01:06:48. Enes Polat followed him as the third with 01:06:53.


We notice that riders from Serbia whom also attended to Polonezkoy Adampol MTB Cup, are in great interest with the races in Turkey. Even if many international riders are usually into Cat-1 races and even if the Serbian racers attended was limited with 5, it was a pleasure for us to see them in the Capadocia Bike Festival (Cat-2).


Turkish riders presented a great performance on the tough course of Capadocia under the harsh sun and excessive heat, especially during the afternoon races. The limited number of international attendance was a chance for the Turkish athletes to gain points for the Olympics. In fact, witnessing their performance in Capadocia, they probably would get degrees even with more international racers on course (depending on their UCI ranking).

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After the great success of the Europe MTB Championship in Goreme, in 2007, the race in 2008 had been a great disappointment for the mtb fans. We witnessed a race even the locals didn’t hear about, didn’t have any posters around and even a technical meeting couldn’t be organized. From those days to today, we’re happy and hopeful for the future to see that those who are capable handled the job again and gave life to Capadocia. We’re going to be here with you during the rest of the Festival with the Bike Tour between 22-26th of June, the recently included Category 2.2 race and the MTB race on 28th of August.

 You can access the race results from here.

You can find the photos of the race in our Media Gallery section.  The video of the race and the interviews before & after the race will be published on Wednesday on our website.

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