Markus Eibegger to lead Synergy Baku in Tour de Taiwan

By: Amina Nazarli

A sport event 2015 Tour de Taiwan (UCI 2.1), classical five-stage tournament will be held in Taiwan on March 22-26.

Markus Eibegger will lead the Synergy Baku Cycling Project of Azerbaijan in the competition. The Austrian, who just won the Istrian Spring Trophy, won this race in 2011 and finished sixth overall last year.

The Azerbaijani team is sending a mix of its Asian and European squads to the race. Eibegger will be supported by Ioannis Tamouridis, who last year won a stage and was second overall in Taiwan. Alexander Surutkovych and national riders– Elchin Asadov and Samir Jabrayilov –round out the squad joining directly from the Tour de Langkawi.

“Hopefully our guys coming from Langkawi will have recovered sufficiently, together with Markus and Ioannis coming from the Europe campaign. That does give us a very strong quintet on paper for this race,” said team manager David McQuaid. “Markus is a former winner of this race and both Samir and Ioannis had good rides here in 2014, with Ioannis netting a stage and a very high overall placing.”

“However for the 2015 edition, our team strategy will have to have a more specific plan for the GC, owing to the fact that the format of the race has changed and the penultimate stage features a mountain top finish at 2700 metres. For this reason, and to outsmart the Iranians, we will probably look to support Eibegger, who has a rich vein of form now and no doubt high confidence after last week’s victory. After the incline at the finish of stage three we’ll have a good idea of where the threats lie.”

McQuaid will be serving as Directeur Sportif at the race, having registered for the position this year. “This gives our DS pool some time at home after a long start to the season, starting at Calpe in early January. It is also an ideal way to keep close to the workings of the team at the early part of the season.”

The race opens with a criterium stage of 52 km in Taipei City. Stage two is 137 km in and around Taoyuan City, including two climbs at the end. The third stage, 143 km in Changhua County, features climbs at the start and end.

The real climbing comes on stage four, which starts at Sun Moon Lake and finishes at Tetaka. More than half of this 109 km long stage consists of the final climb, with the climbing starting before km 40. The race ends the next day with the longest stage, 180 km from the Jianshanpi Resort to the Dapang Bay Leisure Area, with three climbs along the way.

SOURCE: Azer News