History of Azerbaijan Cycling
The history of cycling in Azerbaijan goes back to 1930, since this vehicle was introduced here as one of the means of transportation. The first bikes were brought to Azerbaijan from Russia.
Initially this vehicle was very popular among the schoolchildren and students. The bicycles were widely used in competitions between the schools and universities. The largest bike tournaments were conducted in Azerbaijan in the 40-s of the 20th century. During this period various sports contests were organized in Azerbaijan among the bicyclists. These sports contests were conducted every four years like in Europe. Azerbaijani bicyclists used the bicycles manufactured in Ukraine’s Kharkov plant.
1972. Sumgayit sportsmen
Sabzali Museyibov and Huseyn Zargarli are first representatives of cycling sports in Azerbaijan. Later they continued their sports career as trainers. The races usually had an overall speed of 30-35 km per hour. Local and foreign specialists, such as Huseyn Zargarli, Sabzali Museyibov, Sergei Romanov were involved in training Azerbaijani bicyclists. Huseyn Zargarli participated in world tournaments and was national referee of USSR.
In the second half of the 20th century Azerbaijani women along with men became actively involved in cycling races. Baku national team comprised of both men and women bicyclists, won local sports contests and also represented Azerbaijan at All-Union and trans-Caucasian races.
Since 1950, cycling in Azerbaijan underwent rapid development. Azerbaijani bicyclists started to participate in USSR and World competitions. Azerbaijani bicyclists Alkhas Talibov, Aladdin Shabanov, Vladimir Semergey, Aleksandr Averin and others successfully participated in various bike tournaments. Alkhas Talibov, Aladdin Shabanov were honoured with medals and diplomas at these tournaments.
Aladdin Shabanov worthy represented Azerbaijan in races in more than 50 countries, World and European competitions. As a result of successful development of the bike sports in Azerbaijan, national bicyclists also took part in the Olympic Games. In 1980, in accordance with national leader Heydar Aliyev’s decree, a 333-meter long cycle track was built in Baku. The venue hosted a number of All-Union tournaments. The delegation of Azerbaijani bicyclists took part in the conference organized in Moscow in 1985 and were awarded with diplomas.
Since the early 90-s, Azerbaijan hosted a wide range of bicycle contests. Azeri bicyclists continued to participate in Baku and Azerbaijan championships riding 40 km per hour. In 1991 as part of the series of events to mark the 850th jubilee of the outstanding Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi, a 4000-km bike race was held between St-Petersburg and Ganja. The race has involved participants from 26 cities including Azerbaijani bicyclists.
After Azerbaijan gained independence, the country has set the development of sport as one of the priorities. The Azerbaijan State Olympic Committee was founded in 1992. Azerbaijan was involved in Olympic Games for the first time as an independent state in 1996. During the following 20 years Azerbaijan has made huge contribution to the world sports.
The election of the President Ilham Aliyev Chairman of the National Olympic Committee in 1997 paved an entirely new direction for the Olympic Movement in the country. In 1997 the construction of the modern Sports Complex was completed and the Azerbaijan National Cycling Federation was founded.
The criterium race was held in Baku on May 9, 1970.
New bikes manufactured in France and Italy were brought to Azerbaijan. The bike park of the Azerbaijan National Cycling Federation has been completely renovated.
In 2011 Fazil Asad oglu Mammadov was elected Chairman of the Azerbaijan National Cycling Federation.
The Baku State University houses the Museum of bicycles and bike sports. The museum has been operating for 40 years. The exposition includes materials relating to the history of the bicycle sport, achievements made in this kind of sports, various events. The founder of the Museum is Aladdin Shabanov, who has made huge contribution to the bicycle sports in Azerbaijan. The museum's exposition was displayed at many international competitions, including world and European championships. A mobile exhibition of the museum was also attended by President of the National Olympic Committee, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The rich exposition of the museum also features the displays reflecting the world's biggest races.