Following a successful debut season in which the team won 14 races, the Baku Cycling Project is looking to bigger and better things after releasing their squad for 2014. The new line-up reflects major changes from 2013 with nine riders having left the team and only seven carrying over.
"We are not concerned about this re-structuring of the team," said team general manager David McQuaid. "Although only three of our winning riders will be with us again, we are confident of doing as well or even better this year."
Of the 16 riders for the coming season, five of them are from the team's home of Azerbaijan. Three more Azeri riders will join the team from August 1, as stagiaires reflecting the team's commitment to putting Azeri cyclists on the map in 2014.
"We have brought Azeri cyclists into the limelight. Those are our top goals, always" said McQuaid.
There will be an international feel to Synergy Baku in 2014 reflecting their goal to race outside of Asia. There will be three riders from Germany and Australia, two from Austria and Ukraine and one Irishman.
The addition of Will Walker and Markus Eibegger brings WorldTour and Grand Tour experience to the young team.
Asia will once again be the teams focus with the Tour of Azerbaijan a top priority. With a season under their belt McQuaid has stated that the team will look to perform at a higher level on the Europe Tour.
"We set the team up so late last season that it was hard to get starts in Europe. Now we have them and I want to perform well for those organizers", said McQuaid.
The team plans to bid for Professional Continental ranking in 2015 but as McQuaid explains, that is as far as the Azeri team is planning to go.
"The WorldTour in this moment does not fit with our goals of developing young talent."
Synergy Baku for 2014: Elchin Asadov, Mahammed Alakbarov, Samir Jabrayilov, Aqshin Ismayilov, Tural Isgandarov (Azerbaijan), Daniel Klemme, Michael Schweizer, Christoph Schweizer (Germany), Luke Davison, Pat Lane, Will Walker (Australia), Markus Eibegger, Jan Sokol (Austria), Maksym Averin, Alex Surutkovich (Ukraine), Connor McConvey (Ireland).