Mugerli, Tamouridis to stay with Azerbaijani team through 2016

By: Amina Nazarli

Slovenian cyclist Matej Mugerli and Ioannis Tamouridis of Greece have extended their contracts with the Synergy Baku Cycling Project. The two veterans will stay with the Azerbaijani team through the 2016 season.

34-year-old Mugerli had a successful year in his first season with the team. The Slovenian won a stage at the Tour de Bretagne and was third overall in the team’s home race, the Tour d’Azerbaidjan. He was on the podium a total of 11 times in 2015.

“I am really looking forward to starting next season and have already started with my training,” Mugerli said. “After our first team meeting in December we will know more about the plans for the year. I’m sure it will be another successful one.”

Tamouridis is the reigning Greek national time trial champion, and was second in the road race. He also finished second overall in the Tour of Estonia. The 35-year-old has provisionally qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

“I am definitely excited to be with the team another year. Last year the Tour d’Azerbaidjan was the target for the team and we did an excellent job as a team. It will be the big goal again in 2016 and we will be going for the best results,” Tamouridis said. “We had a great race program in 2015 and just like Maksym I will prepare for Rio with the races we have.”

“For the Baku team of 2016 it is of course great to have the presence of two very special riders in Matej and Ioannis again. In a team structure such as ours, with strong development goals outweighing perhaps commercial goals, it is very important to have mentors in place in the squad,” said team manager David McQuaid.

“With Mugerli and Tamouridis the balance is perfect, we do not have a squad too full of mentors but instead with these two professionals there exists a very special balance between mentoring and performing. It became a boost to other riders in the team when these guys were listed on the team sheet, and I have no doubt that this will become evident again during the 2016 season”

The Synergy Baku Cycling Project will have more team announcements in the next few weeks.