Together, Lutsenko and Mohoric made a decisive move close to the top of the first category climb Schanzsatte after more or less 80 km of racing. The duo was able to get a good advantage of 50-55 seconds over the chasing group of 6 riders and to hold it until the finish line in Wenigzell. In the uphill sprint Alexey Lutsenko was just the strongest, taking his maiden win in the jersey of Kazakhstan Champion.
- It was a very hard day on the road, especially, after yesterday’s mountain very cold stage. There was a battle in the first 60 km of racing for the breakaway. But, finally, a group of around 20 guys could go away. I was in this group together with Zhandos Bizhigitov and Andrey Zeits. I want to thank both for the huge help they provided me in the break. Zhandos and Andrey did an amazing job in front of our group pulling hard and increasing the gap over the peloton until the first climb of the day. Later, I decided to take responsibility on myself, attacking on the climb. I went solo, but later it was Matej Mohoric, who joined me. We had a good collaboration between us until the finish, where, probably, I could save some more energy for a good sprint. I am really happy with this win! It is very important result for me since it is my first victory in the jersey of national champion. This is my first race after a very tough Giro d’Italia and it is great to get a win here! – explained Alexey Lutsenko.
Stage 6 of the Tour of Austria started in Knittelfeld and finished in Wenigzell after 167,4 km of racing. With three categorized climbs and a few hills in the second half of the distance this stage was a perfect moment for attacking riders to try to win from a breakaway. Thus, the first hour of racing was full of attacks and, finally, a big group could break away together with three Astana Pro Team riders: Alexey Lutsenko, Zhandos Bizhigitov and Andrey Zeits.
An attack of Lutsenko on the first climb was the crucial moment of the stage. After Mohoric has joined Kazakh Champion, two riders did a very good job together, keeping a solid advantage over the chasers and the peloton. On the last long downhill with around 15 km to go Matej Mohoric tried to attack, but Astana rider did not give him a chance. Finally, two riders came together to the finish, where in sprint Alexey Lutsenko took a nice win.
The chasers finished 50 seconds later, while the peloton crossed the finish line 2 minutes behind the winner. Another Astana Pro Team rider Dario Cataldo was 9th today, in this way keeping his 3rd place in the general classification of the Tour of Austria.
Stage 7 of the race will be held tomorrow: 129,3 km from Waidhofen to Sonntagberg.
Photo credit: ©www.oesterreich-rundfahrt.at