A diverse and international peloton will line up next week in Baku for the start of the 2016 Tour d’Azerbaidjan, with recent Tour of Croatia winner Matija Kvasina leading the way as one of the pre-race favorites.
Kvasina leads a strong line-up from Azerbaijan’s Synergy Baku Cycling that will be looking for success on home roads.The in-form Croatian is also joined by third place finisher of the Tour d’Azerbaijan in 2015, Matej Mugerli.
They will be up against a strong roster from Pro Continental Bora Argon-18, who brings the experienced Jan Barta alongside fast-finisher Phil Bauhaus, who has already sprinted to a podium place in Belgium this spring.
Another of the six Pro Continental teams in the race, Australian outfit Drapac Professional Cycling boasts strength in depth with several years of WorldTour experience between names including Will Clarke and Nathan Earle.
The experienced Rinaldo Nocentini, a yellow jersey wearer in the 2008 Tour de France, leads the line-up from Continental team, Team Tavira that includes climber David De La Fuente, who in 2006 wore the Polka Dot jersey at the TdF.
For the fast finishes Team Roth’s Alberto Cecchin and Cycling Academy Team’s Guillaume Boivin will also be ones to watch. Boivin is also joined by 2015 stage winner, Daniel Turek. However, in this race that has a habit of creating surprise and suspense even the lesser known riders could steal the show.
Last year’s winner Primoz Rogli? has since joined the WorldTour ranks with Lotto-NL Jumbo, and his previous team, Adria Mobil, will not be on the start line of the 2016 edition.
The UCI 2.1 five-day Tour d’Azerbaidjan stage race will start on May 4 in Baku and finish on May 8. Tour d’Azerbaidjan -2016 will be the fifth edition of the event, which started in 2012 as the Heydar Aliyev Anniversary Tour (U23) and in 2012 – the tour became an annual event, later transformed into Tour d’Azerbaidjan.
Source: Azer News