Tour d’Azerbaidjan – Tomas Vaitkus Wins the Final Stage – The GC Leader is Sergiy Grechyn of Torku!
The 5th and last stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan took place in Baku today. After the start in Azadlig Square near the shore of Caspian Sea, the tempo of the stage was high from the beginning since it was the final victory honour. Of course, the presence of the UCI President, Pat MacQuaid, was one of the most efficient factors on the tempo, since the Tour’s young talents were willing to win a victory before him. At the last stage of the Tour, while Tomas Vaitkus won the first place, Sergiy Grechyn of Torku Şeker Spor became the leader of the General Clasification.
The President of the Turkish Cycling Federation, Emin Muftuoglu, honoured the final day together with Alper Kurtoglu from the Federation. Muftuoglu visited Torku Şeker Spor team before the start and wished them good luck to the Leader’s team.
The final stage consisted of 12 laps of 12 kms each. So the struggle for the 144 km long stage started with the excitement of the criterium. While the first lap was over, there was an escape group of 2. But as expected, the main pack didn’t allow a strong escape group and time gap at the beginning. Many escapees had to return to the peloton in each lap, until 11 escapees managed to break away at the 6th lap and opened the gap to 1’10”.
The Azerbaijani team, Synergy Baku Cycling Project, who succeeded to get on the podium at the end of each stage, was quite dominant both ahead of the peloton and in the escape group. The time gap increased to 2 minutes in the lead of Lasse Bochmann of J. Jensen Ramirent. Last 3 laps to go, the escapees started to lose their advantage because of the peloton led by Torku Şeker Spor. With 2 laps to go, Lasse Bochmannn solo attacked and created a gap of 30 seconds in front of the escape group, while Synergy Baku Cycling Project and Torku Şeker Spor who were ahead of the peloton and setting the pace, were just 1 minute behind the escapees. The last lap of the criterium, would be decisive for the winner of the stage and the conquerer of Baku as expected.
Tomas Vaitkus, a.k.a. “Tomas The Tank”, who raced in Tour d’Azerbaidjan as a member of the Lithunian National Tema, turned the sprint struggle at the last meters into a victory with the power of a Tank. Torku Şeker Spor, on the other hand, was successful once again. With the final stage, Sergiy Grechyn, who won the King of the Mountains Jersey last Sunday at the end of Tour of Turkey, became the GC Leader of Tour d’Azerbaidjan 2013. And the Team Classification winner was Efapel-Glassdrive with a time of 56:02:10.
Tour d’Azerbaidjan Stage 5 Results:
General Classification After Stage 5:
|1||GRECHYN Sergiy||Torku Şeker Spor|
|2||SURUTKOVYCH Oleksandr||Synergy Baku Cycling Project|
|3||KOZHATAYEV Bakhtiyar||Continental Team Astana|
|4||MONIER Damien||Team Bridgestone Anchor|
|5||VAN DER HAAR Lars||Rabobank Development Team|
|6||BRANDAO Joni||Efapel – Glassdrive|
|7||PAKHTUSOV Anatoliy||ISD Continental Team|
|8||HIRT Jan||Leopard – Trek Continental Team|
|9||BIZHIGITOV Zhandos||Continental Team Astana|
|10||VILELA Ricardo||Efapel – Glassdrive|
|Leader: Sergiy Grechyn (Torku Şeker Spor)|
|King of the Mountains: Connor Mc Convey (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)|
|Sprint: Christoph Schweizer (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)|
Best Azerbaijani Rider: Elchin Asadov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project)
Best Young Rider: Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Continental Team Astana)
Translation: Deniz Çağırgan