Ismayilli, May 8, AZERTAC
Joshua Edmondson of An Post-ChainReaction won the third stage of the Tour d’Azerbaijan, using a late escape to beat the peloton in Gabala. The sprint of the field went to Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) ahead of Matej Mugerli (Synergy Baku Cycling Project), one second back.
Race leader Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil) easily maintained his status but lost the mountain jersey to Alexander Surutkovych (Synergy Baku Cycling Project). Kump’s third place finish was enough to re-secure him the sprint jersey.
A seven-man break group was away for most of the stage, but near the end it was absorbed back into the field, until only Luis Lemus (Airgas-Safeway) was left in the front. He tried desperately to hold on to his lead, but Edmondson caught and passed him with only a few kilometers to go.
177 riders took off in Gabala under brilliant blue skies and sunshine. It didn’t take long for the break group to form, and Surutkovych (Synergy Baku Cycling Project), Daniel Turek (Cycling Academy Team), Kanstantsin Klimiankou (Minsk Cycling Club), Josten Vaidem (National Team Estonia), and Michail Kortsidakis (National Team Greece) took off. They were soon joined by Kasper Asgreen (MLP Team Bergstrasse).
Turek took the first of the two intermediate sprints, and Surutkovych the day’s only mountain ranking.
The group grew to seven with the addition of Luis Lemus (Airgas-Safeway). Surutkovych sat up, having achieved his goal. With nine kilometers still to go, there were four riders ahead with only 30 seconds. Lemus jumped out and took the lead, hoping to solo in and avoid the expected mass sprint, as the others were absorbed.
He didn’t stand a chance though, as Joshua Edmondson (An Post-ChainReaction) caught and passed him. The Briton fought hard and crossed the finish line only one second ahead of the onrushing peloton.