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“I am happy to be with Synergy Baku next season, with the perfect motivation to qualify one or more of my new Azeri teammates for the Rio Olympics. I am a real team player and I look forward to get into this! This Project is ready for...

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team






10.11.2014 @ 14:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After several years at the Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin team, Dennis van Winden will step down to continental level when he joins the Synergy Baku team. Furthermore, the Azerbaijan team has extended its contract with Austrian Markus Eibegger.


Dennis van Winden will be an important part of the Synergy Baku Cycling Project sprint train in the 2015 season, helping to set up sprints for team fast man Max Averin. The Dutch rider, with five years of ProTour experience, has signed to ride for the Azeri team in 2015.


In addition, Markus Eibegger has re-signed for another year with Synergy Baku. The Austrian brought in two wins for the team in 2014.


Van Winden brings further Grand Tour experience to the team. He has participated in the Giro d’Italia twice and the Vuelta a Espana once.


At Synergy Baku, the 26-year-old will co-ordinate the sprint preparations for Averin and help the Azeri riders to form the needed sprint train to bring about a stage win.


“I am happy to be with Synergy Baku next season, with the perfect motivation to qualify one or more of my new Azeri teammates for the Rio Olympics,” van Winden said. “I am a real team player and I look forward to get into this! This Project is ready for the action!”


“I spoke with Dennis at the Tour of Hainan and I think we can make a very good combination,” Averin said. “I know his riding and have seen him during the whole race, not just at the end. I trust that he can lead me to 200 metres for sure, no question. This is the most important thing for me now as nobody can do it all on their own 100%.”


“I was admittedly very happy when Dennis put pen to paper,” said team manager David McQuaid. “But from Dennis’ point of view, this came after a good meeting together where everything was addressed, because Dennis had to be sure of taking the step down from the World Tour to Continental level, and we recognise that. I believe he saw the professionalism, structure and spirit within the team, not just empty words. Dennis is as firmly motivated towards the team’s 2015 goals as any other member.”


Van Winden rode for the Rabobank Continental Team from 2007 to 2009. He moved up to the ProTour Rabobank team in 2010, and stayed with the Belkin squad in 2013 and 2014.


In 2012 he underwent surgery on the iliac artery in his right leg.


He is the third new signing to be announced so far for 2014, joining Matej Mugerli and Alex Pliuschin.


Eibegger, 30, has just ended his first year with Synergy Baku, where he was able to share his experience in the European peloton with the young Azeri team. The Austrian brought in two UCI wins for the team in 2014 and for the most part was team captain on the road.


He won a stage at the Tour de Bretagne, and a stage as well as the climber’s jersey at the An Post Ras.


“After one year full of great experiences, I am very happy to re-sign my contract for another season with Synergy Baku Cycling Project. Our team experienced great moments of success but setbacks as well, but we always kept together and made the best out of it,” Eibegger said.


“We already proved that we can win races and I am sure that our team will gain a lot more success next year! I am happy to work together with David McQuaid, the Azeri Federation and all the team in 2015 and I am already excited for the first races with our new stronger team!”


McQuaid said, “It’s excellent that we have been able to retain Markus’ services.  This year Eibi proved to be a good leader on the road for the squad and when his chances came, he took them. I expect 2015 to be no different, however now with a common set of goals on paper that it is known that the team must achieve, we can expect to see Markus raise his game, given this confirmed unwavering strategy for next season.”



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