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Tour de France. Stage 18. Alexey Lutsenko takes third place in Valloire

The third place for Alexey Lutsenko today on stage 18 of the Tour de France. The Kazakh champion was part of the day’s breakaway of 34 riders, including teammate Gorka Izagirre. The HC categorized climbs Col d’Izoard and the Galibier reduced this group until Lutsenko attacked on the final climb of the day. Nairo Quintana countered the attack, as he went solo for the stage victory. Lutsenko chased Quintana together with Romain Bardet, but the Colombian rider was the strongest rider of the day. Behind Quintana, Bardet finished second and Lutsenko third.

Today was a very intensive day. The goal was to get in the breakaway, but many teams had the same goal, that’s why there was some hard racing in the first two hours of the race. After the intermediate sprint, we tried to go clear with 34 riders, and the peloton didn’t respond. With this group, we passed one first-category mountain and then the Col d’Izoard, where I didn’t feel good. At the Col du Galibier, the sports director told me that I had to try to attack, because the stage is 200 kilometers long, and many riders were tired, including me, because I spent a lot of energy on the first part. I’m satisfied because I attacked maybe five times at the Col du Galibier, and when I heard that Yates dropped, it gave me some motivation. But it got really tough when the attitude was more than 2400 meters, and Quintana attacked, as he was like in his home territory. The last 5 kilometers I worked together with Romain Bardet, but I didn't have had the legs anymore. Finally, I was third at the stage, but I’m happy with my condition and my result because it was a real fight today. Next, we have two more hard days in the Alps and the final stage in Paris, let’s see how my legs will answer after today’s effort. I would like to say thanks to all my supporters and to our general partner Samruk-Kazyna for the support, without them, this result wouldn’t have been possible- said Alexey Lutsenko.

Julian Alaphilippe is still wearing the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification, as the peloton will start in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne tomorrow on stage 19. After 126,5 kilometers and five categorized climbs, of which Col de l’Iseran (HC) is the hardest climb), the riders will finish in Tignes.


Photo: ©Getty Images

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