Stage 8 of the Tour of Austria started in Scheibbs and finished in Wels after 163,2 km of racing. Despite mostly flat profile of the stage and massive sprint expected, the breakaway saw the finish ahead of the main peloton, while the Kazakh Champion Alexey Lutsenko missed just a little to get his second stage win in Austria: in the final Astana rider just lost to the Italian Giovanni Visconti.
- We expected, the massive sprint will decide this stage. So, when riders started to attack on the first climb, I also was up there in front and, finally, was able to go in a breakaway to protect team’s interests and to help my teammates to save some energy for the sprint. So, I spent almost all day in the break, where we had a really good collaboration. In the end, we managed to hold our advantage and to play the victory. Visconti passed me in the last 30 meters. I missed just a little to win, maybe, I started my sprint a bit earlier, with 250 meters to go. Perhaps, I had to wait a bit more. Anyway, today’s second place is also a good result. In general, I am happy with my race: I won a stage, was second today and my feelings were good during the whole week. I am improving step by step and my preparation for the second part of the season is going by plan, - explained Alexey Lutsenko.
Another Astana Pro Team rider, the young Kazakh Yevgeniy Gidich was third in sprint from the peloton, thus, taking 8th place in the stage.
The Belgian Ben Hermans became the overall winner of the Tour of Austria, while Astana Pro Team rider Dario Cataldo, who spent a very strong week in Austria, finished third in the general classification of the race.