Stage 2 of the Tour of Almaty (160,5 km) started at the Halyk Arena in Almaty and finished near the famous speed skating center Medeu.
With more or less 5 km to go, on a steep part of the final climb it was Jakob Fuglsang, who launched a powerful attack. Astana rider was able to get a small advantage and to keep it until the finish line, taking a nice solo victory.
- I am very happy to win today. I had some bad luck during the last few months with that crashes at the Tour de France and later at the criterium in Denmark. So, I had to do my best to recover well and to come back on a good level. What why today’s success is so important for me. We did a training on the course of the stage and on the final climb, so I knew what to expect. The team did an excellent job, supporting me during the day and chasing all attacks of the rivals behind me. Yesterday we had a tough day, but I tried to save as much energy as possible to be ready for today. Finally, everything went like we wanted. I am happy to win in the mountains, this gives me an additional confidence in myself. Besides, it is a great pleasure to get a win in Almaty, in Kazakhstan for all our fans here, - said Jakob Fuglsang.
12 seconds later Alexey Lutsenko won the sprint for second place to Swiss rider Colin Stüssi. Another Astana rider Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev finished 8th.
Thanks to his second place today, Alexey Lutsenko saved his lead and, thus, won the final general classification of the Tour of Almaty. This is his fourth success in a row in this race.
- From the start it was a hard and nervous day. The pace of the group was really high. When the break has gone, we started chasing it, trying to control the race, to bring the leaders back and to prepare ourselves for the last climb. Jakob felt quite good and we had a plan to help him in the mountains. During the training I showed him a good place for attack with 5 km to go. So, he did it like we planned. I am happy for him, it was a beautiful victory. Of course, I am very happy to take a win in the general classification. Tour of Almaty is an important race for our team: this is our home race with a lot of the fans around us. We wanted to provide them a great cycling show and to do our best to make them happy. It was my last race of the season – now I am looking forward to some weeks of vacations! – said Alexey Lutsenko.
French rider Remi Di Gregorio took the second place in the overall classification, 55 seconds behind the winner. Jakob Fuglsang thanks to his today’s performance moved up to third position on the podium, 1 minute 4 seconds from his teammate. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev reached 5th place.
We have to note a very good performance of Astana trainee Yevgeniy Gidich, who place 7th overall.
Photo credit: ©kcf.kz/AstanaProTeam