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After a spectacular bunch sprint it was Schwarzmann with the fastest legs, bringing to a close another hugely successful edition of the Tour d'Azerbaidjan

Photo: Sirotti

MARKUS EIBEGGER

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RINALDO NOCENTINI

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TOUR D’AZERBAIDJAN

NEWS
09.05.2016 @ 00:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Markus Eibegger (Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels) has won the overall title at the Tour d'Azerbaidjan after a strong display on the final day of racing. His closest challengers for the top spot overall, Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting Tavira) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana City), were not able to make any significant moves for the classification in today's final stage, and after a spectacular bunch sprint it was Michael Schwarzmann who came through fastest, giving Bora - Argon 18 their second victory of the week.

It was a successful Tour d'Azerbaidjan for the German team, with Daniel Schorn also winning the green points jersey. Thomas Lebas of Bridgestone Anchor CT won the red mountain jersey after strong rides on the two mountain stages as well as taking the points on offer over the final climb of today's stage. The best young rider of this year's edition is Ildar Arslanov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) who has been leading this classification for almost the whole Tour. The best team of this year's Tour d'Azerbaidjan is the local and proud Synergy Baku Cycling Project. With Maksym Averin as best Azeri and the team taking two stage wins, it was a really successful race for the team.

In June the boulevard of Baku will be the scene for the Formula 1, but today all the eyes were on the Tour d'Azerbaidjan. The racing got underway on the same start - finish area as where the F1 will take place, and after 10 KM of attacks from the peloton, three riders were able to break clear and start building an advantage. Gil Martinez (Wilier Triestine-Southeast), Rubio Arribas (NASR-Dubai) and Lowndes (Drapac Pro Cycling) were in today's breakaway with a maximum advantage of three minutes.

The first intermediate sprint was won by Gil Martinez, the second one (also marking the start of five local finishing circuits) was won by Lowndes just before he was dropped from the leading group. The two remaining leaders pressed on and remained out front for some time further, even as the attacks started to fly from the peloton behind as the race entered the Old City of Baku. The game was finally up for the two leaders as the race crossedthe finish line for a third time, and the scene was set for a fast, bunch sprint.

In the remaining two laps, GC riders attacked in their final attempt to claim the leaders jersey back from Eibegger, but all were unsuccessful. In the final lap it was Mauro Finetto (Unieuro Wilier) who tried his hand at staying in front of the peloton, but he was caught going in the final kilometer. After a spectacular bunch sprint it was Schwarzmann with the fastest legs, bringing to a close another hugely successful edition of the Tour d'Azerbaidjan - a week of racing that has again shown what this amazing country has to offer.

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