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"As for the race we have proven that our form is at top level and we have even more motivation here, as the Tour d’Azerbaidjan is our main goal for this part of season."

Photo: Stiehl Photography

TOUR D’AZERBAIDJAN

NEWS
03.05.2016 @ 22:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Tour d'Azerbaidjan will start tomorrow (May 4), and the organizing committee together with the whole country are excited for the days to come. At today's press conference, vice president of the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation, Sahib Alakbarov, said: "The whole country has worked hard to make this come together and now we are ready, we just hope for good race conditions. We're also proud to have our own Synergy Baku Cycling Project in the race, with two Azeries participating. They've achieved good results in the past few weeks and we hope they can continue this form here."

Cycling in Azerbaijan is developing, as Alakbarov explains: "The slogan of our race is: moving ahead, and that stands for both the development of the race and of cycling in our country. In terms of the race, we're proud that we've been broadcast in 65 countries with millions of viewers over the last few years. This year we will again have a high quality field and the popularity of the race is growing. It will again be broadcast on Eurosport and our national channels, providing a good opportunity to show this progression."

This year's event has a new Race Director, Roland Hofer: "Although I'm technically new as race director this year, I have already been here for many years so I know the race really well." Pleased with how this year's edition of the Tour d'Azerbaijan is shaping up, Hofer continuess: "We have a really good field lined up with a real international peloton present here in Azerbaijan, including six Pro-Continental teams, 14 continental teams and 1 national team."

During the press conference the teams were at the same time busy preparing themselves for the final time. Some of the favorites for stage wins and the general classification spoke about their experience of cycling in Azerbaijan so far and their expectations for the upcoming Tour:

Matija Kvasina, Synergy Baku Cycling Project:
“Finally the Tour d’Azerbaidjan is close. For a whole year I have been waiting for this moment, to visit Azerbaijan and to try some local food and specialities. As for the race we have proven that our form is at top level and we have even more motivation here, as the Tour d’Azerbaidjan is our main goal for this part of season. We just pray that this good luck and team spirit keep on working for us in the race.”

Mateo Mugerli, Synergy Baku Cycling Project:
"After winning the GC and the team ranking in the Tour of Croatia, I can say that the whole team is ready for the Tour d’Azerbaidjan. We need just a little luck and then we can have a successful race.”

Rinaldo Nocentini, Team Tavira
"I've seen this race the last few years on television and have thought that it's a good race. My condition is really good at the moment, so I hope I can perform well. It's my first time in Azerbaijan, and so far I've seen Baku and that's a beautiful city. Cycling in Azerbaijan is developing, as you see more and more Azeri riders in the peloton." 

Dan Turek, Cycling Academy
“I'm extremely happy to return to Baku as the Tour d'Azerbaidjan is a big part of my heart. This is the country that I have raced and won the first and biggest win of my career. Those were great moments for me, moments never to be forgotten. But it's a new year, and myself and the team aim to be active in the race, leave our mark and get to podiums. But we have great rivals here so nothing will come easy.”

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