From the beginning it was a very intense race. After the first 10-15 km a breakaway of 17 has been created with some strong riders in that group. Thanks to a strong effort of the Astana riders, in particular, Nikita Stalnov and Dmitriy Gruzdev, the gap began to come down and when it has been shortened to just 40 seconds, Alexey Lutsenko made a powerful solo attack to join the first breakaway group.
- At the beginning we worked quite good all together, but anyway there were still too many riders in the breakaway, and it is always someone who tries not to work too much, so as a result we didn’t find a nice pace together and the peloton started to reduce the gap. When it came down to just around 50 seconds between our group and the peloton, it was Egan Bernal who attacked on the climb and immediately after him, I made my decisive and final attack. I was hoping that some riders would join me, but when I turned around on the top of the climb, I realized that the gap is already around 15-20 seconds and there was nobody on my wheel. So, I’ve got a courage and began to work alone. When the gap increased to 40-50 seconds, I understood that I have to continue solo until the end. This became a surprise to everyone, but not to me, as I always prefer to attack in advance. Although, riding alone during 86 km is a bit too much, so the last 30-40 km were really tough. Of course, I would like to thank my team and all teammates who did a good job today, also I’ve got a great support from my sports director, who was leading me through the race by radio. I’d like to thank our general partner Samruk-Kazyna for supporting our team and I was happy today that all people at the finish listened the Anthem of Kazakhstan. So, I am really happy because I won, and a victory is a victory! What else can you say?– commented Alexey Lutsenko after the finish.
Alexey Lutsenko finished solo in front of an enthusiastic audience in the Italian city of Peccioli, 1 minute 3 seconds ahead of the first chasers. The daily podium has been completed by two Italian riders, Sonny Colbrelli and Simone Velasco.
Photo credit: @Coppa Sabatini official