A place on the final podium, the best climber in the 10-day race and three stage wins – the Synergy Baku Cycling Project can be more than satisfied with its performance in the 2017 Tour of Morocco.
Kirill Pozdnyakov started the race off in top form, winning the first stage to take both the leader’s jersey and the points jersey. He wore the leader’s yellow jersey only briefly, but had the green points jersey on several different times during the race. Kirill won again on the fourth stage, with a solo closing effort on the Queen Stage.
That was enough to move Kirill back onto the overall podium, putting him into third place, where he stayed until the end.
That same mountainous stage saw Josip Rumac take virtually all of the available climbing points, giving him an unbeatable lead in the King of the Mountains ranking. He was also 11th in the final overall standings.
One particular highlight of the Tour was Elchin Asadov’s win on stage 7. The Azeri veteran took his first ever international win out of an escape group. He outsprinted his break companion for the victory, only seconds ahead of the onrushing peloton. Elchin finished the race as 11th in GC.
Samir Jabrayilov put in an untold amount of important and much appreciated support work, and rounded out the team’s fine performance with a 25th place in GC.
On Sunday’s stage 10, all of the riders finished in the same time as the winner of the bunch sprint.
“Today was a nervous stage but the guys did a perfect job to protect me. Thanks a lot to my teammates and people who support us! Now we switch our focus to the Tour d’Azerbaidjan and we will do our best there,” Kirill said.
“This was our first time in Morocco, and we’ll remember this race forever, starting with visa adventures in the airport, the conquest of the yellow and green jersey on the first day, fighting to hold them but sadly losing them, the delightful fight of our guys on the crucial fourth stage for the general classification, the first international victory of his career for Elchin Asadov, losing my voice due to the victorious cries :) — that’s what was needed for the team to raise morale, each of the guys had a chance for themselves and all were willing to help each other,” said DS Eldar Dzhabrailov.
“For us it was a good preparation for our next race , the Tour d’Azerbaidjan, where we will try to consolidate what we did in Morocco.”