Averin takes stage win, Boivin overall lead at Tour d’Azerbaidjan
Maksym Averin (Synergy Baku) won the second stage of the 2016 Tour d’Azerbaidjan in Ismayilli on Thursday, outsprinting Markus Eibegger (Felbermayr-Simplon Wels) and Alberto Cecchin (Team Roth).
"I am not only overjoyed by my stage win, but also overwhelmed by being the first Azeri to win a stage in this great race," said Averin, a Azerbiajan citizen. "Many, many thanks to my teammates, who made this win possible."
The top 17 riders in the race are one second or less off the overall lead with three stages remaining.
Averin and Boivin were part of a small group that survived to the finish after breaking clear over the final climb. Boivin also finished fourth on the first stage, and with his higher placings over the two stages so far in this Tour d'Azerbaidjan, he assumed the race lead.
The 2.1 race concludes Sunday with a 158km road race that starts and finishes in Baku.
Guilaume Boivin (Cycling Academy) took the overall lead after stage 2 in Azerbaijan. (Bettini Photo)
Powless continues success at Tour of the Gila
US Pro Road Tour leader Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) continued his impressive romp through the US domestic season at the Tour of the Gila on Thursday, finishing third in the stage 2 Fort Bayard Road Race behind stage winner Travis McCabe and runner-up Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare) for his 11th podium of the season.
The Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team rider took over in the sprint when teammate Justin Oien dropped his chain on the run-in to the finish.
"When we got to the final right hand turn, I looked back and it was kind of blown to bits," Powless said. "I saw McCabe attack through the final corner but I was kind of gassed from trying to stay at the front.
"It was just a matter of trying to hold off (race leader) Lachlan Morton," Powless said. "We were kind of neck-and-neck in the final 500 meters. I actually sat back down and tried to get a couple seconds of recovery before sitting up to sprint with 50 meters to go."
Powless, who lost more than two minutes in the general classification during the stage 1 climb to Mogollon, is hoping to repeat his time trial win last month at the Redlands Bicycle Classic during Friday’s Tour of the Gila Tyrone time trial in Tyrone.
"I think it's good for me because I don't think I'm am quite as strong in a dead flat time trial," Powless said. "This course has a little bit of everything which makes it good for Tao [Geoghegan Hart] and me. I think we will both hopefully be able to pull off a good result."
Nielson Powless on his way to upsetting the favourites at the Redlands time trial. (Jonathan Devich)
Cylance Pro Cycling aiming to animate Tour of Chongming Island
American team Cylance Pro Cycling start the seventh race of the women's WorldTour, the Tour of Chongming Island, with the aim of continuing a recent run of good results. Cylance Pro Cycling recently won the queen of the mountains jersey at the women's Tour de Yorkshire and are confident of landing results at the sprint friendly three day race.
"The welcome here has been fantastic," said Tetrick of the race. "It looks like this [rain] will be our weather for the next couple of days! But it is warm, balmy, and what an incredible host island!"
Cylance Pro Cycling for the 2016 Tour of Chongming Island: Sheyla Gutierrez, Alison Tetrick, Rachele Barbieri, Erica Zaveta and Doris Schweizer.
State of Matter/Maap head to Grafton to Inverell
Melbourne-based Continental squad State of Matter/Maap head to Northern New South Wales for the first race of the 2016 National Road Series (NRS) with a squad capable of challenging for victory. None of the team's riders finished the 2015 edition of the race but bring a seven-rider team with several options for the 220km one-day race.
State of Matter/Maap for Grafton to Inverell: Mike Cuming, Nicholas Katsonis, Jesse Kerrison, Ryan Cavanagh, Dylan Sunderland, Alex Smyth and Alex Wohler.