The Kazakh rider became a part of a four-man leading group, which broke away on the famous climb Paterberg with 32 km to the finish line.
- There were a lot of attacks on the final part of the race. On Oude Kwaremont a group of more or less 20 riders went away. I was able to follow it together with Matti Breschel. It was a good situation for us. I decided to support Matti, working in front of the pack and helping to increase our lead. But later, on Paterberg it was Philippe Gilbert, who launched a strong attack and only me, Lampaert and Durbridge followed him, - explained Alexey Lutsenko.
With 9 km to go on the last climb Gilbert attacked again, but Alexey Lutsenko was able to answer to this move. But later, with more or less 5 km to the finish Belgian rider Yves Lampaert made his attack, which brought him the victory in the race.
Two more places on the podium were played among Gilbert, Lutsenko and Durbridge. Thus, Gilbert finished second, while Alexey Lutsenko completed the final podium with third place.
- It was a hard race, but I am quite happy with the result. In the end, I preferred to wait for the sprint, because was confident in myself. But Gilbert started his move a bit earlier and I did not catch his wheel. Anyway, I took third place and this is a nice performance for me. With two riders of Quick Step in our group it was hard to get more. I like the northern classics and I feel like I am ready for it. Of course, I would like to fight for the victory, but a podium in such a hard and prestigious race makes me happy. Two more races are ahead this week – E3 Harelbeke and Gent – Wevelgem. Hope, I could get more in these races, - added Alexey Lutsenko.
- I am really happy with Alexey and with the whole team. We did a strong and smart race, keeping together all the experience we have both, from sports directors and riders. Alexey showed himself very well, he showed his potential in this kind of races. Now we are looking forward to the next two races on Friday and Sunday. I hope, our team will fight for another good result, - said sports director Lars Michaelsen.
On Friday, March 24th, Astana Proteam will take part in another UCI WorldTour classic race – Record Bank E3 Harelbeke.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto