Less than a wheel separated the 35-year-old from his second win of the week.

Maximiliano Richeze continued his strong Tour of Turkey, final race of a season that the experienced Argentinean kicked off in January, at Vuelta a San Juan, by claiming a stage, and which he is preparing to bring to an end this Sunday, after more than 80 race days, during which he contributed to a plethora of Quick-Step Floors victories.

On a short but hard stage 3, which travelled over 137.2 undulated kilometers, Richeze was one of the four Quick-Step Floors riders to make the cut on a leg-sapping unclassified climb which featured in the last 15 kilometers and where several teams dropped the hammer to put the sprinters into the red and distance them before the fast finish to Marmaris.

Brought into position by an excellent Zdenek Stybar, who bossed the front of the bunch, Max sprinted to Quick-Step Floors' third consecutive podium at the Tour of Turkey, taking second behind Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) and cementing his place in the general classification.

"We knew that Alvaro wasn't the best climber and the final kilometers would be tough for him, so the plan was for the team to work and get me in position over the final climb, which was a hard one. The guys did a fantastic job and provided a perfect lead-out going under the red kite; I waited for the last 200 meters to follow Bennett when he went round the last bend and I was close, but he was just a bit too fast", Max said straight after the finish.

Stage 4 brings the race's only summit finish, a tough one, and the Argentinean is confident Quick-Step Floors will have a word to say on the ascent to Selçuk: "On Friday it will be all about the climbers, but we want to win another stage at the Tour of Turkey and for sure we will try again. It's the end of the season, but we have the same motivation and hunger like in January."

 

Photo credit: ©Alex Livesey/ Getty Images

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