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"I knew I was stronger in the sprint, but I was more worried about the group behind us."

Photo: Feltet.dk

ALEXEY LUTSENKO

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20.06.2015 @ 21:58 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"I knew I was stronger in the sprint, but I was more worried about the group behind us."

 

Those were the words of Alexey Lutsenko after winning stage eight at the Tour de Suisse. Lutsenko won the extremely hilly and technical circuit race in the Swiss capital city of Bern from the breakaway, attacking his fellow escapees 20km from the finish and then outsprinting his final race companion.

 

Lutsenko joined the strong breakaway after the first 35km lap, including World Champion Michael Kwiatkowski of Poland and multi-Swiss champion Michael Albasini, and worked to achieve a maximum advantage of nearly three minutes over the peloton. On the final climb with nearly one kilometer to go, Lutsenko and Jan Bakelants held a 17-second advantage over the rest of the breakaway, and the 2012 U23 World Champion rode continuously at the front to keep the chasing riders away.

 

In front of tens of thousands of fans across Bern, Lutsenko crossed the finish line for his first World Tour victory and the most important win so far in his professional career.

 

"I have just finished a training camp in Tenerife where our Tour de France riders prepare themselves," he added. That is why I am now in top form. In addition, the route in Bern suited me. I consider myself more as a rider for one-day races than for Grand Tours. And Bern had the characterics of a classic."

 

Teammates Jakob Fuglsang and Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev both withdrew from competition during the race. Fuglsang fell ill overnight with stomach trouble and will return home to recover in time for the Tour de France in July. Kozhatayev will return to Kazakhstan for his national championship race.

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