Alexey Lutsenko finishes 5th in Amstel Gold Race
Less than 48 hours after winning the Tour of Sicily, Alexey Lutsenko finished fifth in the Amstel Gold Race, the first of the three Ardennes classics.
“Fifth is not bad when you notice that, less than 48 hours ago, I finished and won the queen’s stage in the Tour of Sicily”, – explained Alexey Lutsenko. “After four hours of sleep I had a long travel day as well.”
Alexey Lutsenko had been part of the decisive 16-man move that went clear with 90km to go.
“When you look at the big races nowadays, the finale always starts at 80, 90 kilometers from the finish. So, I followed some favorites and arrived in the break with Pogacar, Pidcock, etc. I don’t think I worked too hard in that break. In the beginning I worked a lot as it was important for me to stay in front with our group”.
With a meanwhile reduced front group and with 36km remaining, Lutsenko was not able anymore to withstand Pogačar’s attack on the Eyserbosweg.
“We have to be honest, at this moment Pogacar is too strong for everybody. Watching my Watt meter I saw that I was not bad at all. The gap between Pogacar and his two companions and me was 5 seconds for a long time but Andreas Kron, my companion in the chase, did not pull – let’s say – very well. After 200 kilometers it is not abnormal that you cannot close a gap anymore. In the last kilometer it looked that we could catch Pidcock for a podium spot, but we just came too late. And honestly, when I tried to start my sprint, my legs didn’t respond any more after six hours of racing. They were dead. We are no machines, but I may be happy with the result. What a hard day in the cold and rain”, – concluded Alexey Lutsenko in Valkenburg, where, 11 years ago, he became U23 world champion.
Simone Velasco finished 17th.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling