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"I regret that in the second stage I missed the last attack and before this stage I knew this was my last chance. I'm really proud that I've won this stage."

Photo: Sirotti












10.05.2015 @ 14:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergey Firsanov of RusVelo won the closing stage of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan, while Primoz Roglic took the overall win. Firsanov had attacked out of the peloton in the final of the difficult Old City circuit course, and maintained a slight lead until the finish along with Alexandr Shushemoin (Kazakhstan National Team), who was second. Third place went to Matej Mugerli (Synergy Baku Cycling Project), who won the sprint of the chase group.
Primoz Roglic was also in that chase group, and easily secured the overall title, having led the race since the second stage, which he won. Jasper Ockeloen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Mugerli took second and third overall, respectively.
The sprint title went to Marko Kump (Adria Mobil), and the final mountain jersey to Alexander Surutkovych (Synergy Baku Cycling Project). The best young rider was Frantisek Sisr (Team Dukla Praha). Maksym Averin of the Synergy Baku Cycling Project was the best Azeri rider and Adria Mobil topped the team ranking.
Once again, blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the peloton at Freedom Square in Baku. The riders were preparing to take on eight large laps of a circuit course and three laps of a smaller, difficult course through the old walled city.
A break group formed soon, with Alexander Evtushenko (RusVelo), Griffin Easter (Airgas-Safeway) and Ido Zilberstein (Cycling Academy Team). Ioannis Tamouridis (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) and later his teammate Azeri national champion Elchin Asadov gave chase while the leaders clung to their lead.
Easter took the first intermediate sprint, and Zilberstein the second and third. The trio took a six minute gap with them with four laps left. As they set off on the last lap of the larger course, another chase group which had formed was caught be the field and the gap was down to just over four minutes.
Zilberstein also took the first mountain ranking, and Evtushenko the second. Easter dropped back from the lead group, and the gap narrowed to only two minutes. A moment’s scare saw race leader Roglic crash on the cobbled streets of the Old City, but he was quickly on the bike again.
Oleg Zemlyakov of the Kazakhstan National Team put in a strong attack, but was reeled back in. His place was then taken by Sergei Firsanov (RusVelo) attacking out of the peloton. He was soon only 20 seconds behind the leaders, with the field 40 seconds behind him.
Zilberstein was alone in front as he hit the finish line for the penultmate time, but the two RusVelo riders and a reduced peloton were closing in rapidly. The escape was then quickly ended, with some 14 km left in the race.
Another break group of 10 formed, while Alexandr Shushemoin of the Kazakh team shot out to a 10 second lead. He was joined by Jasper Ockeloen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), who was second in GC and only 34 seconds down, and Firsanov, with race leader Roglic leading the chase. They took their narrow 10 second lead into the closing kilometers, and Firsanov and Shushemoin were able to maintain the slightest of leads as they hit the finish line.
Rider Quotes
Sergey Firsanov (RusVelo, stage winner)
"It was a quite difficult stage. The last lap was decisive after a hard race. Not only the climbs were difficult but also the wind made it challenging. I regret that in the second stage I missed the last attack and before this stage I knew this was my last chance. I'm really proud that I've won this stage."


Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil, winner of blue “Synergy” jersey (leader GC))
"Winning and maintaining the jersey were both very difficult, but I did this together with my team. This win is for Adria Mobil to celebrate its fifth anniversary. To win the jersey and to keep it was very difficult, but with such a great team like we are it is a lot easier. So I thank my team." 
Marko Kump (Adria Mobil, winner of green “SOCAR” (points))
"After the second stage, when Primoz Roglic took the blue leader jersey, it was the goal of the team to keep that jersey. So I needed to help my team by fixing breakaways and riding in the front. But I still tried to win points for the green jersey. I also had some luck, but I've won this jersey and that's what counts."


Aleksandr Surutkovich (Synergy Baku Cycling Project, winner of red “AZAL” (mountain))
"I wouldn't say that I'm a typical climber, but I've won this jersey because of my experience in this race. In addition to be a good climber, you have to be a good rider overall, you have to position yourself well. Because of this knowledge and skills I've won this jersey."
Frantisek Sisr (Team Dukla Praha, winner of magenta “Ata” (young))
"I've would been happier if I had also won a stage, but I'm still glad with this jersey. For my future this means that I maybe can transfer to a better team to achieve even better results."
Maksym Averin (Synergy Baku Cycling Project, winner of flame "AzVIF" (best Azerbaijani))
"I'm really proud to win this jersey, here in my home land. This last stage was really hard and I'm happy that I finished the race on this way and that I've won the jersey for best Azerbaijani rider."
Sahib Alakbarov (Head of the organizing committee and vice president of the Cycling Federation of Azerbaijan) 
"This year's Tour d'Azerbaidjan was a success. We could follow the race live, as all the stages were shown on national TV and the last three stages live on Eurosport. It was our chance to showcase the country and our Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team, which performed very well, to all of Europe. I would like to congratulate everyone involved for the success and thank all of those who worked hard to make this event happen. It was a test event for the European Games that will be held on the same course as today’s stage here in Baku. A technical delegate from UEC has approved our course so we are ready for this great event.”



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