Azerbaijan has received a further boost to its surging sporting pedigree ahead of the European Games in Baku next year after the European Cycling Union (UEC) praised the success of the recent Tour of Azerbaijan.
The Tour, first held in 2012, involved a total of 150 riders representing 25 teams from 23 nations, and was won by Ilnur Zakarin from Russia's RusVelo team
In a letter to the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation, UEC President David Lappartient, said: "On behalf of the UEC, I would like to congratulate you very sincerely for the excellent organisation of the 2014 Tour of Azerbaijan.
"I would like to underscore that the images broadcast by Eurosport highlighted the beauty of the city of Baku with its contemporary and modern side, and we will be sure to discover the fortified city, the Shirvanshah Palace, magnificent locations that reflect its history."
The European Games are due to take place from June 12 to 28 next year and will see more than 6,000 athletes competing across 19 sports, with the cycling programme consisting of mountain bike and BMX events, as well as ones held on the road.
Baku 2015 is currently in advanced discussions with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Transport to finalise the route of the cycling time trial and road race, and are hopeful of confirming the route soon.
Baku 2015 director of sport, Pierce O'Callaghan, added: "The Tour of Azerbaijan was a spectacular event that showcased the beauty of the country and the very best of Baku to the world.
"We are working closely with the Ministry of Transport to finalise the route of the time trial and road race and we will be taking Mr Lappartient's praise of the Tour of Azerbaijan into consideration."
Other sporting events set to take place in the country in the future include a Formula One race, likely to be called the Grand Prix of Europe, in 2016, after a deal confirming the event was exclusively revealed by insidethegames last month.
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April 2014: Exclusive: Formula One race in Baku confirmed after deal officially signed