Azerbaijani team member wins 1st stage of international cycling race (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 1 / Trend, A. Akhundov /
The first Azerbaijani professional cycling team "Synergy Baku Cycling Project" has completed its minimum task in the Tour d'Azerbaidjan international cycle tour dedicated to national leader Heydar Aliyev's 90th birthday. The race is being held from May 1 to 5, the winner of the first stage of the cycling race, member of the Azerbaijani team Christophe Schweizer said at a press conference on Wednesday. Maxim Averin from "Atlas" finished the second and Martin van Treyp from "Rabobank" was third.
"I am very proud to stand for the "Synergy Baku Cycling Project". This is a very strong team. It is a great honor for me to be a part of it. Our minimum objective was to win one of the stages, and we have achieved that goal. Although, in the course of this stage, our prospects of victory were very slim, I managed to shoot ahead at the last turn and win. I am very grateful to my team, without which I could not have won. They provided the necessary support, allowing for reduced air friction and pressure on me," Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer dedicated the victory in the first round of the cycling tour to his father, who is celebrating his birthday today. Schweitzer also noted the high level of organization of the tournament.
The competition involves 25 teams.
The race, dedicated to national leader Heydar Aliyev's 90th anniversary, will pass through Baku and the Absheron, Gobustan, Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Oguz and Sheki regions of Azerbaijan in five phases.
The Tour d'Azerbaïdjan is a 2.2 event on the UCI Europe Tour.
On May 2, starting from the brand new cycle park on Shikov beach, the peloton will move on the Baku-Absheron-Gobustan-Shamakhi-Ismayilli route. After passing 183 km, cyclists will finish in Ismayilli.
Third phase will take place on May 3 and involve the Gabala-Oguz-Sheki-Oguz-Gabala (165 km) route. The fourth phase will continue on May 4 through the Gabala-Shamakhi course.
Cyclists, passing 116 kilometres will finish in front of the training centre building of the Taxes Ministry of Azerbaijan, near the observatory in Pirgulu, located at an altitude of about 1450 metres above sea level.
The final phase of the race with a length of 144 km will start on May 5 in Azadlig Square, Baku, and will pass the central streets and avenues of Baku and end after 12 laps.
The international cycling race is widely covered on Eurosport, Eurosport-2 and other TV channels. Employees of about 40 television channels have been sent to Azerbaijan to cover the event.