This year’s participants hail from Austria, Britain, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine, and as well as other countries. An Australian team will also participate in the Tour d’Azerbaijan for the first time.
Baku will be represented by the Synergy – Baku team.
The race starts in Baku on May 7 and finishes 154 kilometres away in Sumgayit. This stage will be a good chance for sprinters. They can decide the fate of the race on the last five legs.
The second stage starts on May 8 and is being repeated for a third year and consists of 187 kilometres from Baku to Ismayilly, where racers will have to overcome a hilly route and strong winds.
The third stage is 180 kilometres long and runs from Qabala in Sheki back to Qabala and will start on May 9. Stones on a site near the medieval Caravanserai will seriously test riders.
The May 10 fourth stage is not very long. It is only 115 kilometres from Qabala to Pirqulu but features three inclines.
The fifth stage will be held in Baku on May 11 and consists of a 120-kilometre loop, then six 13.6-kilometrelaps, which include stretches on the old town’s cobblestone roads. This stage is a test of the route developed for the 2015 European Games.
Tour d’Azerbaijan will be broadcasted by the Eurosport channel. Half-hour race diaries and an hour-and-a-half broadcast of the final stage will be aired.
The total distance to be covered by riders will be 838 kilometres.
The cycling race was placed in the 2.1 category by the International Cycling Union, for which eight teams from South Africa, Spain, Italy, Australia, the United States, Russia and Poland will be licensed.