The Tour d’Azerbaïdjan begins on the 1 May 2013 in the country’s capital city, Baku. The start and finish line is situated in front of the city’s impressive exhibition and conference venue, the Heydar Aliyev Centre.
The first stage comprises 11 laps of a circuit within the capital, and is almost entirely on the flat. For Stage 2, the peleton then heads northwest out of Baku towards the Caucasus Mountains.
Continuing north over the next two stages, the Tour then goes through some of the country’s most stunning terrain, via the regions of Ismayilli and Qabala, and reaching its most northerly point in the mountain town of Sheki during Stage 3.
Stage 4, is the shortest, and also the most challenging, as it includes a 22km climb to the Pirqulu National Park at an altitude of 1,420m. Finally, the Tour returns to Baku for the fifth and last stage, this time for a more contoured circuit of the capital, taking in some of the city’s finest sights.
According to Albrecht Röder, who planned the route on behalf of the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation, the final stage will provide fitting grand finale for the event with a route that is “perfectly adapted for competitive cycling!”