European Cycling Union praises Tour of Azerbaijan ahead of Baku 2015 European Games

European Cycling Union praises Tour of Azerbaijan ahead of Baku 2015 European Games

The Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC) has praised the organization of the recent Tour of Azerbaijan as it looks forward to the Baku 2015 European Games.

David Lappartient, President of UEC, heralded the "beauty of the city of Baku" and added that he hoped the course raced would feature at next year's European Games.

The Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) are in advanced discussions with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Transport to finalise the route of the cycling time trial and road race, and are hopeful of confirming the route soon.

In a letter to the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation, Mr Lappartient said: "On behalf of the UEC, I would like to congratulate you very sincerely for the excellent organization of the 2014 Tour of Azerbaijan.

"I would like to underscore that the images broadcast by Eurosport highlighted the beauty of the city of Baku with its contemporary and modern side, and we will be sure to discover the fortified city, the Shirvanshah Palace, magnificent locations that reflect its millenary history."

Mr Lappartient said that he hopes the course will be used once more at the Baku 2015 European Games "so that all the participants can discover the city of Baku and contribute to the development of cycling in Azerbaijan".

He also wished the BEGOC team good luck and added: "I sincerely hope that these 2015 European Games are highly successful in Azerbaijan."

The Tour of Azerbaijan consisted of five stages and involved a total of 150 riders representing 25 teams from 23 nations.

The race, which passed through seven Azerbaijani regions and finished in Baku on May 11, was won by Ilnur Zakarin from Russia's RusVelo team.

Cycling disciplines at the European Games include BMX, mountain bike, time trial and a road race.

Pierce O'Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, said: "The Tour of Azerbaijan was a spectacular event that showcased the beauty of the country and the very best of Baku to the world.

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Transport to finalise the route of the time trial and road race and we will be taking Mr Lappartient's praise of the Tour of Azerbaijan into consideration."

Baku 2015 will be the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative new multi-sport event for the continent that will take place from June 12 until June 28 2015.

There will be a total of 19 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and three non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes are expected to represent their nations over the 17 days of competition.

Nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in 2016. Those sports include archery, athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and triathlon.

Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.

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