Baku, May 30, AZERTAC
Ioannis Tamouridis has brought in the next podium placing for the Synergy Baku Cycling Project, finishing second on the first stage of the Tour of Estonia. He is also second in the overall rankings, with one stage to go in the UCI 2.1 ranked race.
The team had hoped to set up a sprint for Azerbaijani national champion Maksym Averin, but the race didn’t develop that way. With about 25 km to go, a break of nine riders, including Tamouridis, formed. They sprinted for the win just under a minute in front of the main group, which contained almost all the rest of the Synergy Baku squad.
Tamouridis said that the wind kept breaking up the peloton, “so we always tried to have someone in the breakaways. I was in one at the middle of the race and took at one second time bonus at the intermediate sprint, before they caught us.”
“Finally, 35km before the finish I got in the decisive break group and finished second in the stage, as well as second in GC. Tomorrow is going to be a tough race!”
The 197 km from Tallinn to Tartu “looked to be an easy stage on paper, but it was something completely different,” said sport director Tomaz Poljanec. “A lot of breaks, cross wind, a 7 km long section of gravel road”
Averin didn’t get to challenge for the sprint finish but still had a good day. He won the first mountain ranking and at the end of the stage was second in the ranking, tied on points with the leader.
“The race is not over yet. Tomorrow will be a hard day, with laps of a circuit course in Tartu, and everything is still possible,” Poljanec noted.