Tour News

UCI 2.1 Race Returns, 9-13th May with new one-day UCI 1.1 Baku-Khizi Eco set for 8th May 2018.
Josip Rumac and Elchin Asadov will lead a young Synergy Baku Cycling Project team in China at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, starting this weekend. The race covers 3631 km over 13 stages, from July 17-30.
Israel Cycling Academy takes second stage victory while Synergy Baku Cycling Project wins home race for first time
Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) successfully defends the leader's jersey going into tomorrow's final stage


You are subscribed to the Tour d'Azerbaidjan mailing list. View this email in your browser Team Illuminate's Edwin Avila climbs to queen stage victory at Tour d'Azerbaidjan

Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) successfully defends the leader's jersey going into tomorrow's final stage

Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate) has won stage 4 of the Tour d'Azerbaidjan after an impressive breakaway effort, followed by a strong finishing sprint. Besides the stage victory, Avila also assumes the lead in the green Points' jersey competition ahead of tomorrow's final stage. In the GC battle, the queen stage was always under control for the Synergy Baku Cycling Project team, who successfully defended the blue leader's jersey of Kirill Pozdnyakov.

After yesterday's chaotic final which saw six crashes in total, the peloton of 115 riders took off in Gabala for the queen stage of the race from Gabala to Pirgulu. With a high pace and some climbs in the beginning of the race, the results of the crashes were visible with abandons in the first hour of the race.

After some attacks of smaller groups that never gained more then a few seconds on the peloton, with 65km to race a breakaway was formed by three riders: Jan Andrej Cully (Dukla Banska Bystrica), Manabu Ishibashi (Bridgestone Anchor) and initiator Simon Pellaud (Team Iluminate). The three worked well together, building a maximum gap of 4'45". In the chase behind the peloton broke in two and several riders were dropped as the pace increased when climbing the final climbs of the stage.

The final of the stage would decide the stage win and most probably the overall general classification, as riders tackled two final climbs - a 1st category and HC category to finish. The three leaders were eventually caught at the top of the first classified climb of the day by a group of chasers, with the first KOM points of the stage going to Ishibashi. After the descent, going into the final 30km, the four chasers - Ildar Arslanov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia), John Anderson Rodriguez Salazar (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) and Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate) - dropped the three leaders and built a lead of 1'35" on the reduced peloton.

Going into the final 20km and at the start of the final climb the four leaders had an advantage of 2'20" on GC leader Pozdnyakov. On the climb proper, the peloton started to splinter, and the four leaders were able to hold their gap to a select chase group that included Pozdnyakov. In the final sprint it was Avila who gave Team Illuminate a deserved win after the team's coordinated efforts and attacking display on the day.

Stage 4 - Gabala - Pirgulu

1. Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate) 4h02'01"
2. Ildar Arslanov (Gazprom-RusVelo) +0:00:02
3. Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia) +0:00:05
4. John Anderson Rodriguez Salazar (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) +0:00:09
5. Vadim Pronskiy (Astana City) +0:01:18
General Classification
1. Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) 16h15'51"
2. Hermann Pernsteiner (Amplatz - BMC) +0:00:46
3. Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss Cycling Team) +0:01:12
4. Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss Cycling Team) +0:01:16
5. Eduard Vorganov (Minsk Cycling Club) +0:01:28
Blue “Synergy” (leader): Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)
Red “AZAL” (mountains): Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)
Green “SOCAR” (points): Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate)
Magenta “Ata” (young rider): John Anderson Rodriguez Salazar (Delko Marseille Provence KTM)

After every stage, you can download photos from our Press Center. Copyright VeloImages.

Rider Quotes
Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate)

"I'm really, really happy with this win. It was a hard sprint in the final, with all good riders, but I was happy that I'm the lucky one to win. Now as I have the green Points jersey as well, we will try to defend it tomorrow. Tomorrow is a stage that also has some climbs, so it is possible to stay in the front so I can fight for the jersey. Me and my team will work for it.""

Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)
"Of course we were looking whether the breakaway could be dangerous for my position in the GC, but I had a five minutes advantage on the closest of that group so I was not afraid as we had everything under control with my team. Anything can happen in cycling, so we still have to be focussed and concentrated during tomorrow's final stage."

Tomorrow: Stage 5 - Baku - Baku (158km)
Recent stage winners at Baku:

2012 Stage 5 - Baku - Baku: Nurbolat Kulimbetov (KAZ)
2013 Stage 5 - Baku - Baku: Tomas Vaitkus (LIT)
2014 Stage 5 - Baku - Baku: Justin Jules (FRA)
2015 Stage 5 - Baku Circuit: Sergey Firsanov (RUS)
2016 Stage 5 - Baku - Baku: Michael Schwarzmann (GER)

Signing-in: 9.15-10.15 all times local (EET)
Stage start: 10.30

Get involved on social media and use #tourdaz to join the conversation.

Photos total: 40