The Tour of Antalya, scheduled to take place in Turkey this week, has been cancelled following the major earthquakes that hit the country and nearby Syria at 4:17 a.m. local time on Monday.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the border with Syria in the early hours of Monday morning. A second earthquake occurred nine hours later in the same area, with risks of other earthquakes and aftershocks.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the event as the worst earthquake disaster in the country since 1939, when 32,000 people were killed. At least 1500 deaths have been confirmed dead as a major rescue operation is underway to save people trapped under collapsed buildings.
Antalya is 800km to the west of Gaziantep along the coast, but Turkey is under a state of emergency and focused on helping the victims of the earthquake and mourning those killed.
“TOUR OF ANTALYA powered by AKRA, the international cycling race planned to be held between 9-12 February 2023, has been cancelled,” the race organisers said via social media on Monday morning.
“We wish God’s mercy to our citizens who lost their lives, condolences to their relatives, urgent healing to the injured and thank you for your understanding.”
The Tour of Antalya was first added to the cycling calendar in 2018. It is a 2.1-level race and seen as an ideal early-season race. The four-day race was due to run from Thursday to Sunday, with Arnaud Demare expected to lead Groupama-FDJ, and a number of other WorldTour and ProTeams on the start list.
Last year’s race was won by Uno-X’s Jacob Hindsgaul.
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