After experiencing the action on Stage 6 yesterday, I wanted to experience the buzz of pre-race at the neutral start of Stage 7 at the seafront at Kuşadası. We arrived at just after 9am with the riders due to arrive along the seafront to start signing in at 10am for the neutral start to commence at 10.45am.
Here we are looking back up to the neutral start area.
The hospitality area is already to start serving breakfast.
There are still last minute banners being put up at the neutral start line.
My husband and a friend of ours wanted their photo taken at the neutral start line.
Here is the platform where the riders sign in to todays race and their names announced to the spectators.
Turkish Airlines are one of the sponsors of the Cycling Tour, one of their trucks was carrying a stork with his cycle helmet on and a backpack on his back.
The riders and their support colleagues had spent the night at Kuştur, just outside of Kuşadası and so to get to the start line they would ride along the seafront, so I positioned myself a little way in front of the start line so that I could capture some of the riders as they arrived.
The first team to arrive were Drapac Professional Cycling, based in Australia. The team this week consists of David Jai Crawford, Floris Goesinnen, Robbie Hucker, Lachlan Norris, Adam Phelan, Bernard Sulzberger, Wesley Sulzberger and Wouter Wippert.
Considering the tremendous headache that an event like this must generate, it was lovely to see everybody so relaxed and enjoying themselves.
The next team to arrive where Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise based in Belgium. The team this week consists of Jasper De Buyst, Kenny De Ketele, Moreno De Pauw, Jarl Salomein, Gijs Hoeckc, Michael Van Staeyen, Pieter Vanspeybroeck and Jelle Wallays.
Here we can see a couple of the Bardiani CSF team members based in Italy. This weeks team consists of Filippo Fortin, Marco Coledan, Enrico Bardin, Nicola Boem, Marco Canola, Paolo Colonna, Andrea Manfredi and Nicola Ruffoni.
I am not sure which one this is, it is really difficult to tell them apart when they have their helmets on, but he looks like he has been off his bike at some point this week with a plaster on his knee.
And here comes team Caja Rural Seguros based in Spain, this weeks team consists of Lluis Guillermo Mas Bonet and Francisco Javier Aramendia Lorente, both at the front, along with Peio Bilbao Lopez De Armentia, Karol Andrzej Domagalski, Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo, Francesco Lasca, Heiner Rodrigo Parra Bustamente and Luis Leon Sanchez Gil.
Here is another one of the riders from team Bardiani CSF.
Coming along now are some of the guys from team Cofidis Solutions Credits based in France. This weeks team members are Rein Taaramae (in the centre wearing the Estonian National Road Race Champion colours), other members of this week team are Yoann Bagot, Jeremy Bescond, Nicolas Edet, Romain Hardy, Christophe Le Mevel, Romain Lemarchand and Louis Verhelst.
Next we have a very happy, I believe to be, Francesco Chicchi, riding for team Neri Sottoli based in Italy. Other members of this week team are Rafael de Mattos Andriato, Daniele Colli, Andrea Fedi, Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez, Simone Ponzi, Mattia Ponzi and Mirko Tedeschi.
Here are Astana Pro Team based in Kazakhstan. This weeks team consists of Alexandr Dyachenko, Daniil Fominykh, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Andrea Guardini, Valentin Iglinskiy, Arman Kamyshev, Dmitriy Muravyev and Ruslan Tleubayev.
Team Wanty Group Gobert are based in Belgium. This weeks team members are Frederik Backaert, Gregory Habeaux, Wesley Kreder, Danilo Napolitano, Frederique Robert, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Nico Sijmens and Kevin Van Melsen.
I think this is Jeremy Bescond from team Cofidis Solutions Credits, chatting to one of the officials.
Here is a couple of close ups of the gears and pedals on these amazing bikes.
Team MTN Qhubeka based in South Africa, tend to stand out from the crowd in their black and gold kit. This weeks team includes Frekalsi Debesay Abrha, Linus Gerdemann, Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin, Youcef Reguigui, Kristian Sbaragli, Dennis Van Niekerk, Johann Van Zyl and Martin Wesemann.
Another of the Wanty Group Gobert team.
With the distinctive clean shaven head and beard this has got to be Tomasz Marczynski for team CCC Polsat Polkowice based in Poland. The other team members this week include Pawel Charucki, Piotr Gawronski, Tomasz Kiendys, Adrian Kurek, Mateusz Nowak, Davide Rebellin and Grzegoiz Stepniak.
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team are one of the more well known teams based in the Netherlands. This weeks team consists of Jetse Bol, Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Rick Flens, Barry Markus, Nick Van Der Lijke, Dennis Van Winden and Robert Wagner.
I think this is Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin from team MTN Qhubeka being interviewed along with his team mate Youcef Reguigui.
One of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team being interviewed en-route, I bet that takes some concentration.
Some of the motorbike camera crews and security crews having a group shot, a memento of their time on the Tour.
Here on the side of the Commissaire's car you can see the logos for the Tour of Turkey, including the logo for the 50th Edition of the Tour.
Kris Boeckmans of Lotto Belisol doing some leg stretching as he peddles along.
Another shot of one of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team riders.
Here are some of team Torku Şekerspor based here in Turkey. Their team this weeks consists of Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Ahmet Akdilek, Nazım Bakırcı (who is currently the Turkish Road Race Champion), David De La Fuente Rasilla, Sergueiy Grechyn, Miraç Kal, Yuri Metlushenko and Ahmet Orken.
Here we can see the back of Sergueiy Grechyn of Torku Şekerspor.
Here is Mattia Pozzo for team Neri Sottoli who for Stage 7 was wearing the white jersey of Turkish Beauties - Leader of the Premium Gates. He went on to hold onto this jersey at the end of the week.
Orhan Alp - Ata Motorcycle Club President and one of the officials of the Tour.
Some more shots of some of the riders of Astana Pro Team.
Another one of the Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise riders.
An Orica Greenedge rider.
An OmegaPharma Quick Step rider.
Here is one of the riders from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team based in the USA.
Here I managed to get a shot of Adam Yates for OricaGreenEdge, wearing the leaders jersey after Stage 6. He went on to be the overall leader at the end of the Tour, well done Adam.
Here is Andre Greipel wearing the German Road Race Champions Jersey, for team Lotto Belisol.
Orhan getting ready for the off.
This photographer had lost his ride, so hopped on the back of the nearest bike.
We must be close to the off as the Commissaire has just rode past.
And then they were off.............