TNN Takes on Queen Stage Tour d’Azerbaijan
06 May 2017
Race: Tour d’Azerbaijan, stage 3
Start/Finish: Gabala /Pirgulu, Azerbaijan
PIRGULU, AZ — The Queen Stage at the 2017 Tour d’Azerbaijan kicked off under stormy skies on Saturday, as the peloton jostled its way out of the resort town of Gabala over two categorized climbs to finish on top of a mountain.
A breakaway of three riders pushed out under a heavy tree canopy at the start of the race, but not after a long struggle to escape. The trio did not last long, however, as the race turned uphill in the village of Agsu and the climbers came to the front.
Edwin Avila of Colombia won ahead of Russia’s Ildar Arslanov on a windy but dry plateau near a space observatory in the village of Pirgulu. Italy’s Alex Turrin finished just behind to complete the podium.
Team Novo Nordisk rider Quentin Valognes abandoned the race on a day with more than 2,000m of climbing. Teammates Romain Gioux, Brian Kamstra, Stephen Clancy and Umberto Poli all finished with the majority of riders on the day.
Sunday’s final stage in downtown Baku races through the restored old city, and should provide dramatic action over the cobblestone alleyways on the seaside hills of Azerbaijan’s capital city.
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov
“The rain was threatening all morning, but it never materialized and the whole peloton was overheating in the first hour after a very fast start. Quentin suffered on the climbs but he went pretty deep the last few days. It’s good to get to the Queen Stage here in Azerbaijan and we’re looking forward to Sunday’s race in Baku.”
“We were all dressed up in rain gear at the start, and we thought it was going to be heavy rain throughout the day. Lots of people were trying to peel off clothes in the first hour and cover the attacks at the same time, so it was pretty hectic.”
- 1st: Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate): 4:02:01
- 2nd: Ildar Arslanov (Gazprom-RusVelo): 0:02 back
- 3rd: Alex Turrin (Willier Triestina – Selle Italia): 0:05 back
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Brian Kamstra: 66th: 26:50 back
- Umberto Poli: 74th: st
- Romain Gioux: 75th: st
- Stephen Clancy: 99th: st
(Photos: ©Oran Kelly)