Diego Ulissi was crowned Tour of Turkey champion today ©Getty Images

Italy's Diego Ulissi has won the Tour of Turkey overall title despite Belgian Edward Theuns sprinting to victory in stage six today.

Today's final stage saw the field travel across 143.7 kilometres, including through the streets of Istanbul.

Ulissi, who rides for UAE Team Emirates, moved to the top of the field on Friday (October 13) and went into today's final stage with a 12 second lead over Denmark's Jesper Hansen of Astana.

After finishing safely within the chasing pack today, the Italian maintained his advantage to lift the overall trophy.

"It’s a very important win for me, not least because it’s World Tour - a one week race," Ulissi said according to Eurosport.

"I’ve demonstrated physically that I’ve matured a lot in recent years.

"I’m very happy with what I've done this year."

Edward Theuns sprinted to the stage victory today ©Getty Images
Edward Theuns sprinted to the stage victory today ©Getty Images

After being frustrated by a number of second place finishes this week Theuns, of Trek-Segafredo, took advantage of Sam Bennett’s late crash.

Theuns passed the Irishman on the final turn to cross the line first and secure his second win of the season.

Ireland's Bennett was hoping to win a fifth stage this week but fell in the Old Town of Istanbul with less than 300 metres to go.

The Tour of Turkey has been included in the International Cycling Union World Tour for the first time this year, but will struggle to hold its place unless more top teams compete.

Only four World Tour teams - Astana Pro Team, Bora-Hansgrohe, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates - are present.