Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren will join the Synergy Baku Cycling Project as an advisor. He will attend the upcoming Tour d’Azerbaidjan to help the Azeri team and riders.

Vansummeren, 36, retired in June 2016 for medical reasons. In his 13 year career he rode for four teams, and 15 Grand Tours. His biggest career win was Paris-Roubaix in 2011, and he also won the Tour of Poland in 2007.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation is giving me,” he said. “Together with the Federation I’m hoping to bring my knowledge to the Azeri riders to help and support them to reach their highest dreams.

“Personally I’m very happy with the chance they give me to start my second career in cycling and hopefully together we can achieve great things.

“Out of the first conversations I had with Farhad Aliyev (General Secretary of the Federation) and the Federation I feel they are willing to grow and put Azerbaijan and their riders on the map of international cycling.”

The Belgian is eager to start work with the team. “I’m honored to be a guest during their national tour and the national championships. I hope to speak as soon as possible with the riders and the staff to make a plan of ‘attack’

and help them with all their questions. Hopefully it`s the start of an ongoing partnership where we can work very well together.”

“I met with Johan in Brussels during the UEC Meeting and discussed his future view after he finished his career,” Aliyev said. “I was impressed by his enthusiasm to continue working in cycling, and invited him to Tour d’Azerbaidjan as an advisor to our riders. We hope this step will help our riders as well, in achieving results now and at races in the future.”